Presenting Yourself in the Best Way: Applying for an Internship

At Burdette Ketchum, we believe in the value of hands-on experience. That’s why we sponsor an internship program to give college students an opportunity to learn in a “real world” environment. Some job applicants think that their first impression is at the interview. That is not the case as your application makes your first impression, and it might be your only one. We’re in the business of making things presentable, so we know how important it is present yourself in the best light!

The first step is crafting a resume that highlights your best skills and attributes. Summer jobs, coursework and volunteer activities are all excellent things to include. However, remember to stay true to who you are and what you offer. Don’t include “fluent in German” as a skill set if your only German experience is a trip to Oktoberfest. Most importantly: proofread everything. Or better yet, have someone proofread your resume as an extra set of eyes always helps to spot mistakes or provide opportunities for improvement.

Once you have a resume ready to go, it’s important to thoroughly read the instructions on the job listing. Attention to detail is imperative, so reading the instructions can be a make-or-break point. Does the employer ask for writing samples or a cover letter? Do they want to be e-mailed directly or contacted through the job board? Be sure to check that you’re meeting all the requirements before applying.

After you complete your application for an internship, allow plenty of time for the hiring manager to make a decision. If your program requires signed paperwork by September 15th, don’t start applying for internships on September 10th. Applying at the last minute can make you look like a procrastinator versus a career-oriented professional.

After you submit your application, it’s okay to follow-up at regular intervals. Sending a follow-up note several days after submitting your application is great as it shows interest in the job. Employers want to know you’re serious about the position and following up shows your determination.

Following these steps will put you well on your way to securing a great internship. Good luck!