Advice on How to Apply for Internships

The first step to landing the perfect energy is creating a resume. Depending on how much work experience you have, what year you are in school, and whether you’re a traditional or nontraditional student, you may have already created one. If not, you’ll definitely want to get started on creating both that and a cover letter. Resumes should be kept to one page (which probably won’t be hard if your work experience is limited) and can include volunteer jobs. Don’t go on and on about high school because most employers don’t care, and make sure you proofread! On the other hand, your future employer may instead request a CV. This is short for curriculum vitae, which is longer than a traditional resume and goes into more detail. It includes a summary of your educational background as well as work experience, awards, honors, certifications, publications, and affiliations. CVs are more commonly used outside North America and in certain professions, such as when applying for academic or research positions. If you ever apply for a fellowship or grant you will probably need to submit a CV. You’ll also most likely need to collect transcripts, recommendation letters, and a letter of interest. These will go along with your resume and help build your case as a hardworking student who is genuinely interested in the position. Even if the company doesn’t request recommendation letters, it’s not a bad idea to include one or two. Letters of interest should be very specific and include your career goals and reasons for wanting the position. Once you have the necessary documents in order, what’s the next step towards getting your internship? If you have a list of places where you would like to intern, be sure to read all the instructions for applying very carefully. If you don’t follow directions the employer will see this, and it doesn’t give them a very good first impression of you. This could make rebounding during the interview process harder. On the other hand, if you deviated from instructions too far or the employer is being strict, you may not even get a call for an interview! Lastly, be proactive. Send off resumes or CVs early on. Waiting until the last minute might mean that the employer already has his or her eye on someone else for the position. If you do hear back from them, don’t wait to schedule an interview. Return calls or emails promptly to indicate that you are responsible and eager for the job. Good luck!

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