Happy Valentine’s Day!
In celebration of the day of love, I am going to share 3 things that internship hiring managers love. If you are looking for an internship, here are a few things that might just make a prospective employer fall in love with you. Whenever a prospective intern does these things, I say to myself, “they get it” meaning, they get what it takes to stand out from the crowd.
It starts with your resume. I love getting a clean, fresh, error free one-page resume from internship applicants. That is the first sign that the prospective intern took time to learn how to put together a good resume. They understand that it is the first and sometimes only representation they have. If that resume is bad, then the prospects of moving forward to an interview are slim to none. Take the time to visit career services or Google search how to write a resume to learn the anatomy of a good resume, that will get you results.
Over my career I have done a lot of candidate interviews. Very few candidates ask questions of me when I say, “do you have any questions?” Now, asking me something is better than not asking me anything. What I love, however, is when a prospective candidate asks me good, thoughtful, researched questions. Questions that indicate that the candidate researched the opportunity, is excited about the job and wants to genuinely learn more.
On the flip side, this is also your chance as a candidate to evaluate if the opportunity is really a good fit. You can ask about culture, position responsibilities, interview process, ask who you will report to. You don’t need a list of 10 questions, that would get a little annoying, but a list of 3 -4 solid questions is what I recommend. If you need ideas for questions, Chapter 5: The Interview Process in my book, The Internship Manual provides a list of questions to ask.
The third thing I love is when candidates follow up (not stalk). Sometimes during an interview students will ask for my contact information to follow up with me, and I give it. I love when students go to the website, find my email address and send a thank you note or email. That little step that may take 5 minutes shows me that they are serious about the position, care about building relationships and know that it is important to show that they are hungry for the job.
These 3 things won’t get you the job, you still need to be qualified. But, the first step to getting in can be learning to stand out.