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WEEKLY SERIES | DO’S AND DON’TS WHEN APPLYING TO internships | #1 SETTING YOURSELF APART

Hannah Sheley
Senior Associate
  Back To All

Professional experience is becoming a make or break credential for potential new hires. In a short series, we’ll be covering the do’s and don’ts when applying for internships in marketing and communications. Here’s a preview of what’s ahead:

  1. Setting Yourself Apart
  2. “I work for Dolly Parton” 
  3. Be Your (Professional) self

Setting yourself apart from the dozens or even hundreds of other applicants with similar qualifications can be difficult. These simple tips can help you stand out among other applicants through your résumé.

Do: Identify the experiences you’ve had that make you unique.
  • Do you have work experience or extracurricular activities that are similar to the company or its clients?
  • Do you have unique work experience? How can you apply that experience to the position for which you’re applying?
  • Do you have a minor or second degree that offers something special to the position?
  • Did you study abroad?
Do: List experiences in order of importance to the employer.
  • Lists will help you highlight relevant experience and ensure that the employer notices the most important points.
Don’t:  Include experiences that aren’t RELEVANT or you can’t speak to.
  • The experiences you list should contribute to the skills you’ll need for the job for which you’re applying. As long as you can speak to the skills they taught you, jobs that are not in the same field as the one you are applying to are okay to include.
Do: Focus on the unique qualities that make you a good fit for where you’re applying.
  • Owning seven cats doesn’t offer much to an engagement agency like DEVENEY, but it might to a company focused on animal rescue.
Don’t:  Lie or be misleading.
  • While you may wish that you could set yourself apart by having five internships under your belt, lying will get you nowhere, especially when the employer finds out about it. Even a minor misrepresentation can come back to haunt you.
Do: Revise before sending.
  • Spelling and grammar errors will cause you to lose credibility and an opportunity before you even have it in the first place.
Do: Make your résumé reader-friendly.
  • Keep the content to one page. Your résumé is not the same as your curriculum vitae; your potential employer does not need to know every job you’ve ever held.
  • Bolding and bulleting are essential. An employer does not want to read large paragraphs of text on your résumé; they should be able to scan through it and pull out the important information quickly.
Don’t:  Forget about formatting.
  • A unique format can set you apart, but it should remain professional.
  • To ensure the formatting doesn’t change when opened by the potential employer, save and send it as a PDF.
Don’t:  Waste space.
  • There is a lot of content to include, and not a lot of space, so make sure you aren’t wasting it through paragraph spacing or larger-than-necessary fonts.
Do: Place your name and contact information at the top of your résumé.
  • Make sure that your name stands out so the employer knows whose resume they are reviewing even after they open the document.
Do: Consider a summary of qualifications or skills.
  • A section like this can be helpful if your vital skills get lost in your job experiences, or you’ve gained them elsewhere, like through coursework or volunteer experiences.

What makes you a unique job candidate? Let us know by tweeting at @DEVENEYnola using the #DEVchat hashtag.

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