5 steps to getting your dream internship
The school year has just begun, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t start thinking about and preparing for an internship!
Internships are the perfect way to figure out what you want to do. Thinking about becoming a broadcaster? Work for a news station to get a taste of what it’s really like. Or, you may already know what you want to do. If so, use internships to get that four years of experience you need for that entry level position (lol).
Internships are the perfect opportunity to learn and set yourself up for getting that job you’ve had your eye on — that’s how I began working for The Cut Life! Here’s what you need to do to get that position:
Clean up your social media accounts!
Sixty percent of employers use social media to screen job candidates. Social media is an easy way to get insight into who you are as a person — your interests, your thoughts on current events and how you conduct yourself on an everyday basis. Unfortunately, many people don’t get a job, not because of their lack of talent, but because they have a negative social media presence.
So, before you start applying for internships, go through your accounts and scrub them. Have a picture of you passed out at a party? Delete it. Have a status riddled with profanity? Trash it.
If you don’t have time to delete those things, change your privacy settings to show select things, or consider creating a separate, more professional profile.
LinkedIn often gets overlooked and is just seen as an online resume. Wrong! LinkedIn is a great way to connect with mentors, learn about your potential career, and find internships without going to multiple sites.
Make sure you fill out the entire profile and choose a professional profile picture. Ask your teachers, mentors, and supervisors to endorse you for certain skills, and upload examples of your work.
Get your resume in tip-top shape.
Resumes are an employer’s first impression of you, and if it’s done wrong, it is their only impression of you. So, it’s important you put your best foot forward. Here’s what you need for the perfect resume:
- Make sure it’s no longer than one page. Employers have tons of resumes to look through, so make it easy for them to read.
- Don’t include every single thing you’ve done. Only include the information that is most relevant to the position. Going for a fashion internship? Focus on your retail and styling experience only. They don’t need to know about the job you had at the library in high school.
- Never lie about (or embellish) your skills. This may seem obvious, but it’s tempting to make yourself look better than you are in real life, especially if it’s a job you really want. Instead, be honest about what you know and spin it to your advantage in the cover letter.
- Get creative! Use a color palette that represents your personality, and add design elements that reflect the job you’re going for. Not a design whiz? Search for free templates or have a graphic designer make one for you. Most designs are around $50.
Write a cover letter that slays!
Most people think of the cover letter as a repeat of the resume. Not true. Cover letters allow employers to see your personality and get a better understanding of why you are the best candidate. You should highlight some of your experiences, but focus on:
- How you found out about the internship (Perfect time to subtly name drop who recommended you).
- What you hope to learn during your time there.
- What you would add to the team.
- Emphasize the skills and traits you have that can’t be taught — impeccable work ethic, positive attitude, have an eye for trends, etc.
Get interview ready.
If you’ve made it this far, congrats! Now it’s time to seal the deal.
- Dress to impress by tailoring your style to the company’s culture. If you’re going to a corporate environment, wear a flattering dress or suit. Keep the makeup, jewelry and hair simple so you can really shine. If you’re going to a more creative company, feel free to let more of your personal style flow!
- Get to the interview 15–30 minutes beforehand.
- Be prepared with additional copies of your resume and examples of your work.
- When answering questions, don’t look down at the floor. Be confident and maintain a comfortable gaze.
- Come prepared with questions of your own to show you’ve done your research.
- After the interview, send a ‘thank you’ note or email.
Remember, getting your foot in the door is only the first step. Once you get in, work hard, maintain a good attitude, create relationships and go the extra mile.
Now, we have an internship opportunity for you! We’re looking for a new crop of writing interns to help take The Cut Life blog to the next level. If you’re a hair, beauty, style or pop culture maven with a knack for writing, send your resume and three examples of your work to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “The Cut Life Internship.”