Some Advice When Applying for Jobs/Internships

I usually find myself on the applying end of the job/internship search, but in the past few months, I have “crossed over to the other side.” And I’m learning quite a bit – mainly about blunders to avoid.  And what might those be?  Read on for some dangerous pitfalls that just make me shake my head:

Blunder #1 – When applying for a position in the field of writing and editing, please EDIT what you submit. For instance: “I’m interested in interning with your organization because I feel it will give be an extraordinary experience working with a range of publications.” Small words make a big difference.

Blunder #2 – It bears repeating: EDIT what you write. For example: “I have read a lot from the website and i think i stand to benefit alot.” First, always capitalize “i” when referring to yourself. Second, “a lot” versus “alot” – spell it correctly and be consistent. Better yet, do not use the word “a lot.” Pull out the thesaurus and find a better word.


Did this applicant intend to leave "AddressBlock" on the resume?

Blunder #3 – It is not unusual to use a cover letter or resume template to help you generate your own cover letter or resume. However, when submitting your finished product, please take off the “name goes here” template directions (see photo to the right – the pertinent information has been changed to protect the clueless).

Blunder #4 – Make sure you research the organization and know about the place before you apply. For instance: “I am passionate about the field of publications, as well as raising awareness about such a common health issue among our nation.” Sounds good, right? Well, not really. When applying for an internship with a rare disease organization, using the word “common” is not a good idea.

Blunder #5 – If the job description asks for specific skills, be sure to tout those skills in your cover letter and resume. But if the job description requires working knowledge of something like HTML and you don’t know HTML, it is probably not a good idea to apply.

And now after providing blunders to avoid, I’d like to leave you with some stellar advice that really can work. Good luck, job seekers, and please remember to reread your cover letter and resume!

Some Positive Tips – Enthusiasm and follow through are huge! If you really like a place, follow up with an email or a phone call after you submit your cover letter and resume. If given the opportunity in an interview, ask questions specific to the organization. Show a potential employer that you have done your homework and familiarized yourself with the organization. And please, review blunders 1-5 and avoid them at all cost.

One thought on “Some Advice When Applying for Jobs/Internships

  1. Ah, the joys of becoming a “grown-up”…. and suddenly coming to understand how our blunders must have seemed to parents/supervisors/professors. Not that you or I ever made these mistakes, of course! 🙂 (I had the advantage of my sister having been a headhunter, as well…)
    I have to admit, sometimes I find it difficult to remember being that clueless. All of these blunders are why, at my last job, I would offer to review my interns’ resumes before they left. I also think it takes practice to learn how to use buzzwords without sounding obnoxious.
    Useful blog post! It could go on the website: Things We Screen For In Applicants. :-p

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