Whenever we give career advice here on the site, we always mention how valuable an internship can be during your college years. Interning is a great way to gain hands on experience that you simply won’t get in a classroom setting. It also allows you to make connections that could lead to a future full-time position when you graduate. But how exactly do you land your dream internship? That’s just the topic we are tackling today. Plus, since we’ve had so many readers inquire about how to land an editorial internship with LaurenConrad.com, we added a few tips for interested applicants. Sound intriguing? Keep reading…
Gain the Right Experience
No matter what field you work in, it’s unlikely that you’ll score a highly-coveted internship if you lack any relevant work experience. Even if you’re a star student, employers generally want to hire an intern who has already had other practice in the real world. That may sound discouraging if you’re still going after your very first internship—but it doesn’t have to be. Be realistic, start small, and work your way up to applying to more competitive positions. If you want to intern here at LaurenConrad.com, for instance, don’t expect to land that one your freshman year of college. Begin by interning for a smaller, local website where you can gain hands-on skills that will be relevant at the next internship you apply for. You might also make some valuable connections along the way that can act as references or write you a letter of recommendation when you do go after your dream job.
Write a Killer Cover Letter
Later on in your career, your many years of experience in the field will practically speak for itself. But when you’re a college student with a rather short resume, count on your cover letter to tell the company why they should hire you. Make sure you thoroughly do your research and know their brand inside and out. List specific ways you can contribute, or name your favorite thing about the company. Applying for an internship with LaurenConrad.com? Tell us your favorite section or column on the blog. Name a specific blog post you loved or tell us if you frequently shop Lauren’s Kohl’s line. We want to know that you are familiar with the brand, since that will make the training process a lot easier should we hire you.
Play it Cool
When we’re hiring interns, we often encounter applicants who are a little too enthusiastic about the brand. Yes, we did just say that we want you to know the brand inside and out… But fan of the brand can all too easily cross the line into straight up fan-girl, which can call your professionalism into question. It’s all about striking a balance. Show you’re excited about this opportunity, but be professional about it.
Only Qualified Candidates Need Apply
If the description stipulates that candidates must be local to Los Angeles or must receive college credit, don’t assume that those rules will bend for you. With LaurenConrad.com for instance, if we see an internship applicant is unable to receive college credit or lives across the country, we click ‘delete.’ So save everyone some time (yourself included) by only applying to internships you’re eligible for. Some of these stipulations are actually legal requirements, so a company could be breaking the law by having an intern work for free without receiving credit.
Be Smart on Social
This one goes for any industry these days, but is especially relevant if you want to work in the world of digital media. Make sure that every one of your social media posts is something you wouldn’t mind a potential employer seeing. Trust us when we say they will Google you. This might seem like rather obvious advice to a more seasoned professional—but it is important advice for a college student who hasn’t applied for a job before. If you don’t care about growing your social following, the safest bet is to make all of your social media accounts private. But if you do have a public facing account, please keep it professional if your potential employer can see it.
We hope those tips help you to land your dream internship.
Is there anything else you would add?
And if you would like to apply for a fall or winter internship with Team LC, send your resume and cover letter to [email protected]. You must be eligible to receive college credit and must live in the L.A. area—no exceptions.
XO Team LC