I am currently enrolled in LA 495.1, the College of the Liberal Arts non-departmental internship course, to receive college credit for my Spring 2010 internship with the Schreyer Career Services Office. When I visited Dr. Karen Peters, my professor for LA 495.1, during her office hours, she advised that when students are interested in a specific internship position they should look at relevant full-time job descriptions from the organization of interest; students can look at the qualifications section of a full-time job description that relates to a particular internship position and try to infuse the skills and qualities delineated in the description into their résumé and cover letter. I used this strategy by compiling a list of descriptive verbs and adjectives (e.g. execute, implement, orchestrate, utilize) from both full-time job descriptions and company websites of interest to me. I then employed this vocabulary to enhance my résumé and cover letters.
Before submitting a résumé, students should have professionals critique it. Career Services counselors can provide this service during drop-in counseling, open Monday - Friday from 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Drop-in counseling provided me with a great deal of flexibility because it afforded me the opportunity to receive quick career counseling on the fly. For instance, one day I received feedback on my résumé in between classes, and the next day I went in again to receive advice on my cover letter--what an incredible resource!
In addition, I possess a copy of the Career Guide for 2009-2010 provided by Career Services. It includes information about professional events and career advice, ranging from how to create a résumé to interviewing tips. The Career Guide includes examples of résumés and cover letters that are very helpful to students who are creating their first résumé and cover letter. Students can stop by Career Services to pick up a hard copy of the Career Guide, or they can just visit the Career Services website, which contains a wealth of useful professional resources and information.
If anyone else has tips for creating effective application materials for internships or full-time positions, post them here!
Gena is a junior psychology major and a current intern for the Schreyer Honors College Career Development Office. She will be participating in a summer human resources internship at FOX 29 in Philadelphia. Read her first internship blog post here.