When I began college, I knew I wanted to be a journalist within the first week of classes. Over the course of two and a half years, I studied media in several different ways – analytically, the production side and editorial. I learned a lot from great professors at Hunter College. By my junior year, I knew I had to begin gaining experience outside of the classroom. But it took time and work to land an internship. Here are five tips to landing an editorial internship.
1. Build Up Your Resume And Then Perfect It
Before I even began applying for internships, I was aware that I needed to have experience, even if it was minimal. My long-term was to become a writer and editor so I sought opportunities to make this a reality.
First, I became a reporter and writer for a news site at school called The Tab Hunter. After a month, I became an Associate Editor for the Prose section. Three months later, I joined Odyssey as a writer and soon after became the co-editor. Although this may seem like a lot, it really wasn’t thanks to time management skills.
The next step is to perfect your resume by having a professional critique it. At Hunter College, there are Career Services in the East Building that everyone should take advantage of. Every semester I make an appointment and have one or two people review my resume. It’s helpful and free.
2. Search For Opportunities Online
Depending on what kind of internship you’re looking for, there are certain sites that will make the search easier. For editorial internships, my go-to is ED2010. I’ve landed multiple internships from this site. There’s also Indeed, Glassdoor and Monster.
Be open to unpaid internships in the beginning. They’re incredibly underrated and the more experience you have, the more opportunities you’ll get in the future. I worked a year for free before landing my first paid internship. It was worth it and I enjoyed gaining experiences.
3. Write A Great Cover Letter
When you apply to an internship or job, you must give in your resume and a cover letter. You can make yourself stand out in your cover letter by elaborating about yourself and skills you have. An important thing to do is customize your cover letter.
Initially, I used a cover letter sample as my template and over time I customized it for myself. But I don’t give every company the same exact cover letter. Take some time to actually look at the website and let the employer reading your cover letter know that you’re genuinely interested in the job by touching on one or two specifics.
You can also hyperlink your online work in your cover letter. The Tab Hunter gave me the chance to put to practice my journalistic skills. It also gave me great clips I could use to apply to internships. I’ve also hyperlinked work from Odyssey.
4. Consider Making A Professional Website
Having a professional website is an easy way to share your work with employers. Depending on where you’re applying, they may ask for a portfolio, which you can then put your professional website down. Personally, I love WordPress and could spend hours customizing my site. I have all my writing samples in an organized place for others to look at whenever they want.
5. The Interview 101
If you’re lucky, you’ll get contacted by an employer for an interview. Before the interview, research the company. Come up with commonly asked questions and answer them as a way to prepare. Also, ask others who have experience in the workforce (not necessarily in the same field) for advice about interviewing.
Remember to also dress approximately, arrive 15 minutes early, have extra copies of your resume and send a “thank you” note afterward. Then just wait and hope that you landed the internship. Good luck!