By Ryann Casey
The internet is over saturated with articles claiming miracle tips and tricks on how to write a resume, ace an interview and land an internship. These articles are generally filled with regurgitated nonsense and outdated bullshit on how to change who you are to fit what any and every employer is supposedly looking for. The typical ideal resume is out of date, boring and any future employer will thumb it over the way they do hundreds more that look just like it. The less than encouraging pointers on how to dress, what to say and how to change everything about yourself for an interview are ridiculous and flawed. Employers want to see the real you, and want you to show them what makes you unique and what assets you’ll bring to their company.
Here are five simple tips that are all you need to land an internship.
Have an inside connection.
It’s easy for your resume to get lost in a sea of like papers (or emails) and looked over. Even if you land a five minute intro phone interview, it’s hard to make a deep enough memorable connection over the phone. While not always possible, if there is any way to get an inside lead on a job/internship take advantage of use and abuse it. Something as simple as a mutual friend putting in a good word for you, or connecting with a future employer on LinkedIn and reaching out to them by email can give you that slight personal edge over entering your information into a black hole application form that’s open to the general public. Connections and networking are key. The more contacts you have in your industry the better, and you never know when your old roommate’s sister will end up being the CEO of your dream company or Editor at your dream magazine.
This may sound cliche, but it really works. Write your resume, go into any interview and work every day knowing that you are qualified and good enough for any position you’re applying for. You are an asset. You are good enough. You are here for a reason and you have everything to offer. Carry this confidence into all of the work you do once you’re hired and you’ll go down in history as their best intern ever, while you move on to bigger and better things.
Know your worth.
If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. Don’t let anybody talk down to you, abuse you or take you for granted. An internship can either be treated as free work or a great and invaluable learning experience. A lot of what you get out of an internship has to do with who you’re working with, but you are not low man on the totem pole. You are a bright student looking to learn, and if an internship or job is giving you more stress than help and taking away from your school work or mental health do yourself a favor and QUIT. There is no shame in it. If it isn’t right for you, you are only hurting yourself. This isn’t high school, this is the real world and every move you make is for you. If you’re not happy then move on.
Be true to yourself.
No matter how many articles you have read that tell you to dress a certain way, speak a certain way and act a certain way, DON’T. Don’t do it. Be true to who you are. Dress however you feel comfortable and what fits into your definition of what professional is. If you feel comfortable and confident in an interview you will exude that confidence. If you believe in yourself others will believe in you. Think about what an employer has to offer you as much as what you have to offer them. What are your personal assets that set you apart and will be an advantage to any company looking to hire you?
Relax and Learn.
You have done all the work to get up to the point you are at now and you deserve to be here. Once you’ve landed the internship of your dreams, relax and enjoy. An internship is typically only as long as a semester so don’t let that time pass you by by overthinking and stressing over every little thing. Take this time to soak up and learn as much as you possibly can about the industry you see yourself working in. Is it the right move for you? Have you found a niche that fits you better? Do you hate it and it’s time to try something else? Whatever the outcome of your internship is, listen to yourself and how you really feel and you will undoubtedly end up in a profession you’ll love.