Being a junior in college means I have been applying to internships left and right and that means I am getting rejected left and right. However, each time I apply, I always try to make my application better. Here are some tips to upgrade your internship applications before you hit submit:
1) Clean up your social media
I love self-deprecating tweets as much as the next person, but maintaining a professional social media presence is essential during the internship application process. How your social media page looks and what you say may have a profound impact on whether you are chosen for an internship.
Now you may be asking “Laila, Twitter is my daily entertainment and I cannot live without it.” If that is the case, try making a separate private, personal Twitter and public, professional Twitter. Having a professional Twitter is a great way to stay connected with your school, professional friends and Scripps PRSSA (follow us here).
2) Design your resume and cover letter to match the company you are applying for
Designing your cover letter and resume can be an exhausting process. However, having changeable elements to your resume and cover letter will let employers know how much you love their company.
What do I mean by that? If you are applying to Sephora, try coordinating the colors on your resume to red, black and white. If you are applying to Cleveland Clinic, try including some green and blue design elements in your cover letter.
Having a simple, clean matching resume and cover letter in black and white, is always a great idea to keep on hand because that style tends to be common among companies.
3) Don’t sell yourself short
About a month ago I had the managing editor at The Post read over my cover letter and resume and the one of the tips she told me was, “Laila, don’t sell yourself short because you do a lot.”
So… DON’T SELL YOURSELF SHORT! Many resumes and cover letters tend to only capture a small percentage of what you do, so make sure to expand on your skills and be honest about all the things you really do.
4) Connect with any alumni who work in the company you are applying for
If you are interested in applying to a company, go onto LinkedIn and connect with OU alumni working at that company. Alumni love connecting and helping fellow Bobcats and will most likely be excited to talk about their company.
Don’t forget to send a nice note along with the connect request.
5) Prepare for the interview
No matter how much you think you know the company, it is never a bad idea to prepare. Learn what values the company you are applying to holds and what products and services they offer as well.
Do a mock interview with a friend. Have your friend ask you questions about each position you have on your resume and see if you can frame the answers to align with the company’s values.
6) Don’t let a rejection get you down
I got an internship rejection earlier yesterday and one today, but it is what it is. I am a firm believer in if one door closes another will open, so keep your head up and keep applying and following up on previous applications.
Good luck and don’t forget to share your success with Scripps PRSSA!
Laila Riaz is a junior journalism – strategic communication major and incoming managing editor for The Post. You can follow her adventures on Twitter @laili_riaz