Each month, I’ve been giving you a plan that will ultimately help you land a summer internship. In January we focused on the research phase, in February we focused on the materials phase and now in March, I want to focus on the reach out and the follow up process. Remember, if you need help with your materials, prepping for the interview process, or anything else – my book ALL WORK, NO PAY, can be a great resource for you. For the month of March, here are some things to focus on that will help you land an internship this summer:
• In your February Plan, I suggested that you block out time to apply for internships. If you haven’t done this yet – March is our chance. Set aside at least 10 hours over the next 10 days. You can do this in two chunks of 5 hour time blocks. This is going to be your application time where you go through the Intern Queen Dream List you created (or just your target list of companies) and you put your applications together.
• In February, you organized your materials. Now you need to take that up a notch and actually customize your materials for the companies that you are applying for. If you are applying for companies who are all in the same industry, your materials won’t vary too much but they should be slightly customized. Print out the internship listing that you are applying for and print out your basic resume and cover letter. Go through the internship listing with a highlighter and focus on what that internship listing says it’s looking for. Once you identify and highlight those buzzwords go back to your materials and say to yourself, “Do I have these qualifications and if so – are they clearly stated on my resume?” For example, if the internship listing says they are looking for someone with social media experience than you should make sure social media experience is called out on your resume and you talk about your experience with it. You can also easily customize your cover letter by writing something like, “Your internship listing states that you are looking for someone with ___, ____, and _____ which perfectly coincides with my experience doing ______ with _________ and learning _______.” Take an opportunity to call out to the employer in the cover letter and let them know you’ve done your research.
• This month, I recommend that you apply for at least 10 different opportunities the first two weeks of March. After the second week of March, apply to 10 more if you haven’t heard back from anyone. Summer internship season is the most competitive out there and you want to make sure you land something that makes sense for you.
• Make sure you log all of your internship application information in one place (or in your Intern Queen Dream List). You should be logging how you applied (company website/email/InternQueen.com) and what the internship coordinator’s name and contact information is. If you’ve submitted your application to an actual email address, you can follow up with that email address ten days later as long as the opportunity doesn’t have a deadline on it. If the opportunity does have a deadline listed, you should follow up after the internship deadline and not before. You don’t want it to look like you can’t read directions. An internship follow up email can go like this: “Hi Lauren, I sent my resume and cover letter over to you last week for the summer 2015 internship with your company. I just wanted to follow up and see if you required any additional materials. I look forward to speaking with you more about this opportunity! Best, Your Name”
• Again, make sure you log all of your follow up so you know the exact status of your applications at all times. Typically you can follow up with an employer twice after submitting your resume and cover letter. The first follow up should be after 10 days and the second could be after an additional 5 days. If they respond to you at some point – you can follow up two more times. But remember – three times and you are out – go onto the next. The reason I have you apply to so many opportunities is so you don’t put all of your eggs in one basket – regardless of how “certain” that basket might be.
• Sidenote. You CAN follow up with me directly about an opportunity you applied for on InternQueen.com. Simply send me an email (Lauren@InternQueen.com) and put FOLLOW UP and the company name in the subject line (For Example: FOLLOW UP: SEVENTEEN MAGAZINE) and I’m happy to help in any way I can or at least pass it along.