4 Little Ways to Stand Out As an Intern

25 07 2017

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Competition for an internship is quite high. And, the rules for getting your resume noticed have changed considerably. The key to getting a clear shot at a coveted internship is to stand out in the crowd of resumes and applications. First, it is important to remember the rules of marketing. You’ve got to focus on creating a product that the consumer desires, encouraging the reader to pay just a bit more attention to your marketing package or your resume.

1. Check Your Marketing Package

Surprisingly, a large number of applicants seeking an internship are losing out because they are not taking a serious look at their resume, they fail to update their resume, or they do not have a resume. Remember, the resume, cover-letter, and application is your marketing package to the recruiter. It should provide the necessary information that demonstrates that you are the right person for the internship. Certainly, well-crafted resume without grammatical errors will open the door to an interview. Check your resume over carefully with spell-check and your own eyes several times before submitting.

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2. Experience Seals The Deal

Recent graduates and college students might assume that they do not have the experience required to seal the internship deal. Think again. Any relevant experience will get you one step closer to that internship. Don’t dismiss a part-time job that you held during the summer or after school. Even your volunteer experience with an organization might work in your favor. For example, if you are pressing for an internship with a fashion magazine, impress the reader with your experience writing a fashion blog, publishing your own newsletter, or writing for a college newspaper. These jobs definitely provided valuable experience.

Related post: Get Involved, Get Experience

3. Apply Early

It’s surprising, the number of people that delay applying for internships. The fact is that a growing number of organizations and business institutions actively seek qualified interns all throughout the year. This is good news for those that were worried about the high competition that erupts for those summer internships at some leading organizations. Here is an idea. Select several organizations that are actively recruiting interns through the year to increase the odds that you will get selected.

4. Perfect Your Interview Skills

Perhaps, you’ve sent out your glowing cover letter and resume that highlights all your wonderful skills, training, education, and accomplishments. The recruiter has contacted you for an interview. Mission accomplished. Well, not so fast. Now, it’s time to brush up on your interview skills to seal the deal. Clearly, it’s vital to make a good first impression with the recruiter. Dress appropriately for the interview. Always arrive on time for the interview. Take note of your body language too. For example, make eye contact with the recruiter, offer a firm handshake, try to appear comfortable and relaxed during the entire interview session.

Remember, the interviewer will probably have all your information in front of them. Summarize the highlights of your information. Let the interviewer lead the interview. Don’t try to take control and look too desperate. Listen to the interviewer and make sure that you understand the questions, before providing an answer. Try to look confident and maintain a pleasant smile throughout the interview. End the interview with a firm handshake.

Later on, send a thank you note to the interviewer to confirm your interest in the internship with the company. Following the tips in this piece should lead you to accomplish your goals and landing that dream internship with a great company.

CLICK HERE TO ACCESS BONUS RESOURCES ON RESUMES, INTERVIEW TIPS, + MORE!

****For this great post, Campus to Career thanks Helen Cartwright!!****

Helen Cartwright

Helen Cartwright is a passionate blogger, who excels in the Digital Marketing, Technology and Template Ideas niche. When not wired in marketing strategies she ghost-write for a variety of authors who have their work published on leading online media channels such as The Huffington Post and Entrepreneur.com.

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7 Ways To Stand Out During Your Summer Internship

19 07 2016

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Congrats! You’ve just landed the summer internship of your dreams!

Though don’t be too quick to sit back and relax – the journey to your dream career is only just beginning.

Internships are a fantastic way to put the skills you’ve learned in the classroom into good use. An internship will boost your CV, give you the chance to build lasting professional connections, and could potentially lead you into an incredible full-time job offer.

If you’re hoping to get the foot firmly in the door of your chosen industry, you need to do everything in your power to stand out and make a lasting impression. So how do you do it?

  1. Do your research.

This seems like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised at the number of interns who show up to their new role knowing very little about the company they are interning for. Be sure to clue-up on the company’s key elements and culture, as this will not only impress your employer, but it will make you feel more confident and able to join in on conversations in the office. Showing that you are genuinely interested in the role is key.

  1. Network, network, network.

One of the most valuable aspects of an internship is the fact that you get the chance to build lasting connections with professionals in your industry. Make the effort to get to know people and learn from them. These individuals will see first-hand how you work and what you are capable of, and so can be the ones to support you on your way to landing a full-time role.

  1. Become a real member of the team.

If there is one thing you should avoid, it is treating your internship like an internship. If you want to be taken seriously, you must take the job seriously as if it were a real, full-time role. The most important thing to understand is that your contributions to the company will have an effect on other people – therefore, your mistakes will too.

  1. Challenge yourself.

An internship is your greatest opportunity to develop as a professional individual and step out of your comfort zone – and although it may seem like a daunting prospect, it’s the best way to learn. This will ultimately enrich your professional portfolio.

  1. Approach tasks with optimism and enthusiasm.

Whether you are asked to take on a big project or are simply asked to make photo-copies, get coffee or do other menial work – you should approach each and every task with optimism and enthusiasm. This way, your employer will begin to put their trust in you and will want to remember your name.

  1. Ask questions.

Never be afraid to ask questions about something you’re unsure of. Your employer will be more than willing to take the time to explain something in detail to avoid mistakes being made. Just be sure to listen carefully when a process is being explained, to prevent someone having to explain themselves repeatedly.

  1. Ask for feedback.

One of the best chances to learn during an internship arises from receiving feedback. It is likely that you will receive some form of formal feedback when your internship comes to an end, however don’t be afraid to ask for more regular feedback. For example, if you complete a big task, ask your employer how they think you did, what you could have done better, etc. Be prepared to take constructive criticism on board – your willingness to continually learn and improve will always impress your employer.

****For this excellent post, Campus to Career thanks Katy Mairs!!****

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About the author: Katy Mairs is blog editor at Unibaggage.com – the No.1 Student Shipping Company.





Acing the 400hr Interview

21 06 2016

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You read that right. A 400 hour interview. Before you start freaking out, let me break it down for you…

The standard internship period these days is approximately 10-12 weeks, predominately focusing on the summer months. Most internships are full-time positions (40hrs/week), hence the result of a total of 400hrs (40hrs/week x 10 weeks = 400hrs.) Internships are no longer about temporary summer help at the office. Instead, they’ve become proving grounds for future employees. Think of it as an extended interview. In this case, a 400hr interview!

On the corporate side, the ultimate goal of the internship is to convert the intern to a full-time position after college if the intern performs well. For the intern, that could be the same goal or the goal could simply be to expand your knowledge base and level of experience so that you’re better prepared for the world of work post-graduation.

So, how do you set yourself apart from all the other interns?? There is a LOT of intern advice out there. It all seems to boil down to the following points:

Ask Questions! You might be saying, “but, they hired me because of my skills. I should know how to do the job and how to do it well!” WRONG. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. You’re not expected to know everything on the first day. Jump in, ask questions, seek feedback (but not so much that you annoy the boss…there’s a fine line) and try not to assume anything. Let your curiosity flow!

Get Out of Your Cubicle! As an intern, you have some AMAZING access to executives and individuals who will later be more difficult to reach. Take advantage of this opportunity and connect with people outside of your work group, division, etc. Most companies hold several intern mixers throughout the internship period, so you’ll have the chance to interact with your fellow 400hr interviewees. Focus on your work and projects first, but don’t be afraid to ask your supervisor for the opportunity to meet or job shadow with people in your areas of interest.

Seek Out Mentors! Would you rather enter uncharted territory and try to blaze your trail blindly or would you rather have a few tips/tricks to help you succeed in your journey? If it’s the latter, then be sure to seek out a mentor during your internship. You might be asking, “where do I even start??” Never fear! A lot of today’s internship programs have carefully selected executive sponsors and mentors for their interns. After all, they want YOU to succeed! Other places you go for mentor assistance include your university’s career services or alumni offices. They should be able to help get you connected. If you prefer the DIY method, check out LinkedIn’s Alumni tool (click My Network, then Find Alumni) or create a simple Boolean search (ie: “awesome company ABC + Syracuse University”) and see what pops up. Be sure to connect using a personalized request like this.  Once connected, set up a short meeting, share your goals, ask for help and where you can potentially help as well. Remember, the mentor relationship goes both ways!

Do Your Homework! Ugh. Homework. Don’t you have enough of this during the regular school year?? The reality is that homework never really goes away. When you graduate, it simply goes by different names like research and preparation. As an intern, be sure to do your research and create your plan of attack so you can ROCK your presentation. Not a fan of public speaking? Check out this link for some tips on how to avoid common mistakes.

Tell Us About Your Experience! Now, hopefully your experience is a good one. Tell your friends about the things that were so great (like the culture, your team, the work, the company’s mission, etc.) AND tell them about the things that weren’t so great. You can do this in a tactful way. Sites like GlassDoor provide individuals with the opportunity to share their experiences anonymously. I’d recommend checking this site as you do your “homework” researching potential target companies for your career. Here’s why you should tell your network about your experience: personal referrals are more powerful than any corporate recruiting spiel. It’s the truth! Wouldn’t you want to get the inside scoop on the overall experience from someone you know or someone you know has had a similar college background?

PS. Vanilla Ice has something to say about internships. Click here. 🙂

Now, go out there and ACE the 400hr interview! You’re going to do great.

Anything you’d like to add? Feedback? Leave a comment! As always, thank you for reading.

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Internship Advice from Vanilla Ice

8 05 2012

Oh yes.  I went there.  Remember Vanilla Ice?  If you grew up in the 80’s and 90’s (or if you’ve seen the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movies), you know who I’m talking about.  His song, “Ice, Ice, Baby” was a one-hit wonder, yet still plays on the radio from time to time.  As I embarked on my weekly long run this weekend, I reminisced of the good old days when the song came on my iPod.  Believe it or not, Vanilla Ice actually has something to do with your career!  To be more specific, I think he had three good points for interns.

Think of an internship as an extended interview.  Typically, you have 10-12 weeks to work on a project, deliver results to executives and impress your supervisors in an effort to get a full-time job offer upon graduation.  That’s the whole purpose of today’s internships – to convert you to a full-time employee.  Gone are the days when interns ran errands, got coffee, and answered the phone all summer.  Sure, you might still have to do a few of these things, but all in all, internships have come a long way.  So, what are a few things you can be doing as an intern to help secure that job offer at the end of your term?  Vanilla Ice knows…

Stop.  Before you get everything ready for your internship, sit down and take a moment to set a few personal goals to achieve this summer.  You’ll likely have some assigned to you by your supervisor, but why not get a head-start and get the ball rolling?

Collaborate.  It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there.  Have you ever heard that phrase?  First of all, a pack of dogs like Mr. Burns was always releasing (the hounds) comes to mind when I hear that.  Secondly, the world isn’t that bad – and we’re not dogs.  In fact, through collaboration, our world is being made better every day.  Take time to collaborate with your fellow mentors and interns.  Host sessions to generate new ideas, vet the good ones, and streamline processes.  Don’t be a dog about it.  Be human.

Listen.  Slow down and take time to connect with people during your internship.  Don’t just make friends with fellow interns – branch out and seek mentors throughout the company.  When you go back to school in the fall, don’t lose touch with them.  Keep them updated with what you’re doing, what your career aspirations are and how you plan to achieve them.  Ask if there is anything YOU can do to help THEM.  You’d be surprised at how little this tactic is taken.  It can pay off with HUGE benefits, but in the end, it’s about helping someone succeed, right?  Listen to find out what their challenges are and help them get past them!

Stop, collaborate and listen…  I just caught you singing the song, didn’t I?  I love it when I can relate job search advice to pop culture.  It makes things more interesting!  Before you start your internship (or full-time job), think about what Vanilla Ice would want you to do.  Then, go out there and have some fun as you chase your dreams!

And now, for your viewing and listening pleasure, here’s a flashback to the original 1991 music video: