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.





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.





Your Spring Internship is Right Under Your Nose

29 10 2013

Right-Under-Your-Nose-300x296Summer isn’t the only season for gaining hands-on experience and adding fodder to your resume. A spring internship could be just what you need to kick-start your career.

The spring semester is right around the corner. So, if you’re late to the spring internship search or just struggling to find a worthy opportunity, you’re not alone. According to a recent InternMatch study, 46.5 percent of students begin searching for their internship between one and three months prior to their chosen internship season.

Don’t sweat your spring internship search. An opportunity might be right under your nose. Here are a few tips to help you land an awesome internship.

1. Go virtual. Maybe you’ve been hunting for the perfect internship in your area only to come up short. No problem–there’s tons of virtual internships available out there.

Pivot your internship search to hone in on virtual internships across the country. You’ll gain valuable experience and be able to juggle a busy schedule of school and work while you manage your internship from home or a coffee shop.

2. Create an internship proposal. It may sound crazy, but have you ever considered creating your own internship? If struggling to land an internship in your small college town or a surrounding location, proposing an internship to an employer might help you get hired.

Reach out to employers with a one page summary of why they should take you on as an intern. This document is similar to a job proposal and it should explain what you can bring to the position, along with your internship goals. Don’t forget to ask for fair compensation.

3. Transform your volunteer opportunities. Are you an avid volunteer for one or a few nonprofit organizations? If so, it may be time to utilize your connections within this organization. Even if they don’t have an intern role available for you, they may know someone who does. Or, pitch your expertise for the creation of a new internship role.

4. Actually utilize your career center. Far too many college career centers go underutilized by students. If you’re struggling to land a spring internship, head over to your career center to get some advice. Their staffers are bound to have some insight into available internship opportunities, and they also have great connections.

5. Hit up your part-time job. If you currently hold a part-time position at a large corporation, consider using your connections to look for an internship within. Your position as a retail associate may be a kicking off point for a more major-specific internship position within the company.

6. Ask everyone. Current and previous co-workers, friends, family, professors, neighbors–everyone needs to know about your internship search. Getting a direct referral to an internship position can be a powerful thing, and you never know who might be your connecting point. Update everyone on the status of your spring internship hunt.

7. Set up informational interviews. Do you admire someone at a company you’re hoping to intern for? Contact them to set up an informational interview to learn more about their career.

Offer to take them out to coffee or chat with them on the phone to gain a new perspective on their position and the ups and downs they’ve experienced as a professional. You never know, this might put you in contact with a great opportunity.

Switch up your traditional internship search to make sure you don’t miss out on a great opportunity this spring!

What’s the most unique way you’ve landed an internship?

For this post, Campus to Career thanks our friends at InternMatch!

About the author: Ashley Mosley is Community Engagement Manager of InternMatch, an online platform connecting the best intern candidates and employers. Connect with Ashley and InternMatch on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.





12 College Experiences Your Resume Needs [INFOGRAPHIC]

2 07 2013

Campus to Career is dedicated to helping college students and other job seekers find their passion, their BEST fit in the workplace.  We’re always scouring the web for new resources and tools to help YOU get hired.  Regarding that, a FANTASTIC resource found its way into the inbox a little while ago.  Check out the INFOGRAPHIC below for the 12 College Experiences Your Resume Needs.

A few notes:

1. In your Freshman year, you’ll be tempted to party, skip classes and do the very minimum you have to do to get by.  I’m not saying that you shouldn’t enjoy college.  You should.  Like Uncle Ben told Peter Parker, “with great power comes great responsibility.” Be responsible.  Join a club.  My recommendation?  Join Enactus on campus.  You’ll gain some serious “on the ground” experience, have access to an AWESOME corporate network (remember, you want to get a job when you graduate) and you get to help enable human progress.

2. I say that leaders aren’t born.  They’re made.  It takes a lot to become a leader.  Figure out what you’re passionate about, take a risk and volunteer to lead.  Whether it’s part of a club, Student Government or simply leading a class project, you’ll gain some fantastic experience.  It’s okay to follow as well.  Leaders need followers.  Which one will YOU be?

3. You can always learn something from guest speakers. Be curious. Have an open mind. Just because Joe the Garbage Man is tonight’s guest speaker doesn’t mean you won’t learn anything. I’ve met Joe before. He’s pretty awesome.

4. This is part of being a leader (see #2.) Build your leadership profile on campus. There are lots of options!

5. Intern, intern, intern.  The BIG companies might not be hiring Freshmen and Sophomores, BUT local companies typically are. Use your time wisely. Learn how an company operates from the inside, what you’re good at and what you’re not so great at…it’s all part of the experience. When you’re done, the internship experience should help you make better choices when you’re ready to work full-time.  You know, that way you don’t get hired and say to yourself “WHAT WAS I THINKING?”  You’ll know because as an intern, you’ve already figured out the hard part.

6. Speak only 1 language? Congratulations. So do the majority of the people on the planet. Set yourself apart and learn a new language. I’d suggest Spanish, French, German or Mandarin Chinese.  PS. I’m currently learning Spanish through Rosetta Stone – it’s a lot easier than I thought it would be!

7. IT is one of the fastest growing industries in the world.  Coders will rule the world.  That’s what everyone is saying anyway.  When you pick your major, think about the future.  I love English Literature, but there’s not a whole lot you can do in the real world with that major.  Think broader and look into science, technology, engineering or mathematics.  In a few years, you might be glad you did!

8. Get on LinkedIn. NOW. Do not pass GO. Do not collect $200. A digital presence is becoming more and more important these days and believe it or not, employers don’t really care about your Facebook profile, MySpace (yes – it’s back) or Twitter profile. LinkedIn is different. Every Fortune 500 CEO is on LinkedIn. This is NOT something you want to wait to do until you have that first job. Be proactive. Start your LinkedIn profile today.  Add in your leadership and work experience as you gain it. Connect with classmates, coworkers, mentors and those in and outside of your industry of preference.

9. In the global economy, it’s important to learn about different cultures. The best way to experience them is through travel. If you have the chance to study abroad, even better.  Remember, that major of International Business doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re going to work overseas.

10. Online presence, digital portfolio…they go hand in hand. Take baby steps. Don’t try to start 15 social media accounts at once. You’ll never be able to effectively manage them all. Pick one. Master it, then move to the next. Just keep moving forward and remember that if you don’t want it on a billboard outside of your Grandma’s house, DON’T PUT IT ON SOCIAL MEDIA!

11. Contract or freelance work can help you earn some extra cash in college. Good at building websites? You might be able to help the business owner next door. Think about it. It’s a resume builder too…

12. Volunteering is something I’d highly recommend.  You build relationships, make friends, gain experience and help people. That’s what life is all about. Pay it forward. Oh, by the way, all of these things can also be done as part of the Enactus team on campus. I’m just sayin’… (Yes, I work for Enactus, but mean every word of what I say. Even if I didn’t work here, I’d recommend it to college students.)

Check out the full infographic below:

12 College Experiences Your Resume Needs [Infographic]

Does YOUR resume have everything it needs?  Thanks to Boundless for sharing this great graphic – we appreciate it!





2012’s Top 20 Posts on Your Career

21 12 2012

Top202012 has been a fantastic year for Campus to Career.  I’ve learned a lot through successes and failures this year.  Opening up this blog to select guests throughout the community has added a lot of value, both to me as a blogger and hopefully, to you as a reader.  I thought I’d share with you Campus to Career’s top 20 posts of the year.  Each is unique, bringing you a wide variety of tools to use in the job search or in your current career.  Listed in order of reader popularity, they are:

1. Co-Op vs. Internship: What’s the Difference?   – Have you ever wondered what makes a co-op different from an internship?  Check out this article to learn what sets them apart and which is the best fit for you.

2. Smile & the World Smiles with You    – Smile.  Just smile.  It’s good for your health and your career.

3. Quality vs. Quantity: 3 Points to Consider – Lessons learned from childhood that still resonate to this day!

4. 10 Simple Ways to Succeed in Your New Career – Starting a new job soon?  Here are 10 easy ways for you to launch your career on the right foot.

5. Lessons on Failure from Wile E. Coyote  – He’s still chasing the Roadrunner, but there’s a lesson in there. Click the title to read how Saturday morning cartoons do more than entertain.

6. Recovering From a Screw-Up at Work – Oops. You screwed up. So what? Don’t let it be the death of your career. Learn how to recover like a boss.

7. Everything I Needed to Know I Learned in…College? You’re probably thinking, “wait, I thought that was kindergarten?” Yes, but there are some great things you’re going to learn in college that will propel you into your dream job.

8. 5 Things Every Young Professional Should Know Before Hitting 30 – 5 things. That’s it. Zach Buckley provides some great insight into what exactly we need to do before we hit the big 3-0.

9. [INFOGRAPHIC] How an Applicant Tracking System Reads Your Resume – Where does your resume end up once submitted online? The recruiter’s desk? A black hole? Learn how the system analyzes the content on your resume.

10. Leverage Life by Maximizing Efficiency – Maximize efficiency, get more done. Simple enough.

11. Internship Advice from Vanilla Ice – Stop, collaborate and listen.  Seriously, though…there’s a career lesson in there.

12. 5 Reasons Why Athletes Make Great Employees – Why leave your participation in team sports or the fact that you’re an athlete off your resume? Read this article to learn how you can use your athletic involvement to position yourself for success.

13. 5 Things to Leave Off Your Resume – Drop ’em like they’re hot.

14. Top 4 Career Choice Tips for New Grads – Graduated or will soon? There are 4 choices you’re going to have to make. Check out this great post from Annie Favreau from Inside Jobs.

15. Goal Setting: Possible Dreams – If you can dream it, you can achieve it.

16. Landing Your Dream Job: Part 2 – The Phone Interview – Dogs barking in the distance? Annoying roommate practicing with their garage band? You might want to re-think where you take the phone interview. Click the link for a few more tips.

17. Career Services – Gaining Value for FREE (Part 2) – Not using Career Services on campus as a student?  You’re probably missing out! Take advantage of the free services…you’ll be glad you did!

18. Teamwork According to The Smurfs – What can little blue men (and a woman, sorry Smurfette) teach us about teamwork? More than you think.

19. 3 Strategies for Staying Positive during Your Job Search – You’ve applied everywhere. No one has called you. No emails in the inbox. You’re starting to freak out. Read this article to learn 3 ways to keep positive.

20. Branding Lessons from MTV – Remember when MTV actually showed music videos?  Seriously…they did.  Snooki wasn’t even a bad daydream in some director’s head at that point. Learn what MTV has to teach us about branding.

What is YOUR favorite post on Campus to Career?  Let me know.  I really value your opinion and insight.  That’s how this blog has evolved and how its able to bring you fresh content every week.  Blogs, Facebook and Twitter aren’t broadcast platforms to me.  They’re about building relationships and engaging in conversation.  So, let me know what you think.  Let’s make 2013 even better!

Thanks for reading!





Make the Most of Daunting Deadlines

5 04 2011

“I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make when they fly by.” – Douglas Adams

April 15th is fast approaching.  It’s tax season.  I think we’re all familiar with deadlines.  Some people live by deadlines while others loathe them.  As a job seeker or career professional, deadlines are crucial to your success.  They can make or break you.  So, what are deadlines good for, anyway?  I’m glad you asked!  Here are few reasons why deadlines are important and tips on how to maximize your results!

There for a reason. The deadline could be a test.  If you’re a job seeker, pay attention to the application deadlines for career opportunities.  The employer is asking two simple questions:  can you follow directions? Are you able to provide info by the date requested?

Response is required. A deadline is great because it demands a response.  How many times have you sent an email or asked a question in person, only to receive no response?  Put a follow up date on your message.  Give them some time.  Here’s an example:

“Hi Jim.  I just got your message about your request.  I wanted to let you know that I’m working on the answers at the moment, but do have one question for you.  Could you let me know how many people will be joining us for dinner tonight?  I’ll need to make reservations soon.

Please let me know no later than 11am CST Wednesday, April 6th.

Thank you! “

Make it crystal clear. Ever wonder why you don’t get a response from your emails or phone calls?  More times than not, it’s because the action item is buried in the email.  When you want a response, put the action request where it can be seen (subject line, first line of email before greeting in bold red font if needed).  Speaking from experience, this works for me.  My boss receives hundreds of emails a day.  If I need a response quickly, I put this in the subject line and first line of the email before my greeting:  ACTION REQUESTED BY APRIL 6, 2011 11AM CST. This way, she knows that I’m waiting on her response before I can move forward.  It’s not an FYI email, a weekly update, or meeting request.  This is what I use when I NEED a response by a deadline.

Make it personal. Don’t rely on email. Sometimes it is much better to pick up the phone. I’ve found myself in this situation a lot recently.  Instead of sending 2-3 emails (initial, follow up, thank you), pick up the phone or request to meet for five minutes.  Or catch them when they’re getting coffee, walk with them on the way out of the office, etc.  Don’t just hit send and call it good.  Some people simply don’t respond to that medium very well (as frustrating as it may seem).  Calling them on the phone or meeting face to face can help build a better relationship with your co-workers or supervisor.  Email is tough to read when it comes to the tone.

Don’t be like Douglas Adams (see quote above) and let it “whoosh” past you.  Tackle deadlines head-on!  Regardless of it’s your taxes, your career, or job search for that internship or full-time position, set a deadline and stick to it.  Meet or exceed expectations of deadlines set for you.

What are your tips for setting or meeting deadlines?  I’d love to learn from you!  Please leave a comment below and feel free to share this article with others.  As always, thanks for reading!





Co-Op vs. Internship: What’s the Difference?

5 10 2010

Everyone’s familiar with internships, right?  They’re pretty straightforward, typically available for college students (traditionally rising juniors or seniors) and give a person an inside look into a company.  Gone are the days of the interns serving as the company “go-for”, getting coffee all summer, and picking up the boss’ dry-cleaning.  Today, internships are much more.  As an intern, a person may have the opportunity to work as part of a team, providing value to the overall organization as they’re included in the creative process.  Some interns may even be mentored by executives and have the opportunity to present to a group of their peers or senior-level individuals on the outcomes of their special projects. 

But, what’s the difference between an internship and a co-op opportunity?  Why should job seekers consider both?  I get this question a lot, so I thought I would share with you some of the key differentials between the two.  Each provides a unique perspective – if you have the chance to do both, go for it!

Internships

  • Usually a one-time work (10-12 week) assignment, often in the summer
  • Typically doesn’t interfere with college classes due to timing, but less training is given because of this
  • Can be full- or part-time, paid or unpaid, depending on the employer and the career field
  • Undergraduate students (rising Junior/Senior) are eligible in most cases.  It’s rare to find internships available at larger companies for freshmen and graduating seniors
  • You don’t have to miss a semester or two to complete an internship
  • You’ll have an edge over students who don’t have experiential education gained through an internship
  • Internships are usually limited to one area of responsibility (marketing, human resources, IT, etc.)
  • Average GPA sought is 3.0, with 3.5 in some cases

Co-Ops

  • Co-ops are a joint venture between the university, a selected employer, and you
  • Traditionally at least three work terms alternated with school terms, resulting in a 5-year degree program (it’s going to take longer to graduate, but you’ll have some good experience)
  • Co-Ops are full-time, paid positions
  • More training is offered through a Co-Op
  • Some Co-Ops are rotational, offering opportunities across functions
  • Graduate students are eligible in most cases for Co-Ops
  • Students frequently start at higher salaries and higher levels of responsibility than interns

NOTE: Not all employers use these terms separately.  Some may see an internship or co-op as interchangeable language.  Make sure you ask what program they’re referring to when you talk to recruiters!

At the end of the day, the result you’re seeking is to land a full-time with the employer of choice.  Through your internship and/or co-op, you’ll have a leg up in learning about the company, understanding the corporate culture, processes, and procedures and may even have some great mentors to help guide you to your success. 

Did I miss something?  Have something to add?  Please leave a comment below!  I welcome your feedback.  You can find all my contact information here.  As always, thanks for reading!