Five Things You Need to Do Before You Apply for that Spring Internship

By: Janel Abrahami

Janel AbrahamiJanel Abrahami is a May 2014 graduate of NYU Steinhardt’s Applied Psychology program. She currently serves the NBCUniversal intern population as a Campus 2 Career Assistant and a catalyst for early career development.You can find her talking about all things work on Twitter and LinkedIn

So you found the perfect spring internship and you’re ready to apply! Or are you? Read on to make sure you’ve done these five things before you hit “Submit.”

Know your stuff

A hiring manager can tell immediately if an applicant is familiar with their company or not- and this can make or break their hiring decision. Do your extensive research on the company’s background, its clients, its leaders, its revenue sources- everything that makes a company tick. Not only will you be making a more informed decision about applying to this company (are you actually that passionate about their mission statement?), you will also be able to more effectively express the value you could add to the company in your cover letter or an interview.

Optimize your resume

If you are applying for a position at a large company, chances are high that they use an Applicant Tracking System to accumulate the hundreds of resumes that they receive. These are often referred to as “black holes,” and for good reason- it can be very easy for your resume to fall through the cracks and never see the light of day (or a recruiter’s eyes). But there is hope, and it comes in the form of keyword searches. Recruiters can search through pages of resumes to find those with certain keywords (e.g. “javascript” or “affiliate marketing”). Optimize your resume by including a few keywords from the online job description that are relevant to your experience.

Polish and shine

Once the content of your resume is ATS-friendly, make sure the format is recruiter-friendly. This means one-page of relevant experience, clearly defined sections for education and skills, and appropriate contact information (no email addresses from middle school or embarrassing voice mail recordings!).

Connect the dots

I don’t need to tell you that #networking is one of the best ways to get your foot in the door, but it is something that internship applicants often fumble with. First, use LinkedIn to see if you know anyone connected to the company you’re applying to. Once you’ve found them, either message them through LinkedIn or email them personally (whichever you think would be more appropriate). Briefly tell them that you are applying for X position at Y company, and ask them if they could recommend someone for you to send your resume to. Do not ask them to forward your resume themselves- if they are willing to do this, they will offer in their reply. Once you have a contact at the company, you’re ready to…

Make it personal

….reach out to them with a brief but personalized message expressing your interest in the position. Attach your resume and cover letter, and mention your referee’s name in the first line of your email. Then, relax with the assurance that you’ve already out yourself ahead of other applicants.

Do you have your own application checklist? Is there something else you’d include here? Share with us in the comments.

About On-Campus Recruitment  

On-Campus Recruitment (OCR) is one of the many ways for NYU juniors, seniors, and graduate students to discover job and internship opportunities. Through OCR, employers come to the Wasserman Center to interview students. 

To obtain access to OCR, you must attend both a mandatory OCR Orientation and an Acing the Interview seminar (find upcoming dates and times on NYU CareerNet).

Important Spring Deadlines for On-Campus Recruitment (OCR):
  • The first resume drops for Spring OCR positions begin November 17th
  • First deadline to apply is December 2nd
  • Interviews begin January 20th(the week before classes begin)
Learn more about On-Campus Recruitment by clicking here!

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