8 Tips to Landing your Dream Internship
The internships you take during college are crucial in building your post-college resume. They help you to build real-life, in-the-field experience that is invaluable when you enter the workforce.
Landing the right internship can be a totally stressful experience, leaving you in a complete tizzy with a cluster of stress acne and a massive headache from the mental over-exertion.
From someone who has been there, let me share some of the tips I learned along the way…
1. Highlight Your Assets
Learn to effectively market yourself for the position you covet. You may be the best candidate in the world for the position, but if you can’t effectively communicate to your potential employer why you are the girl for the job, you won’t have a leg up on the competition.
Make sure you are highlighting relevant and unique information about yourself. Are you applying to join the branding team of an up-and-coming beauty brand? Highlight any relevant experience in the beauty industry and list your strengths accordingly. The yearlong stint you had folding tees at Tilly’s may not be relevant, but the part-time gig at Ulta last summer, is.
Make sure to add some copy fluff! Instead of saying “handled floor sales” and calling it a day, amp up your position descriptions by saying: “handled high-traffic floor sales for X, Y & Z brands” or “conducted weekly product testing with fellow staff members for product education,” etc.
2. Get an Appropriate Email Address
An email address, though small and seemingly unimportant, can make a BIG impression; email@example.com is NOT a serious email address, so leave that one for friends and family, only.
Email addresses are free and there is no excuse for sending a professional email or submitting an application from the email address firstname.lastname@example.org. Put on your big-girl pants and create a new inbox with an address like email@example.com. This template is classic and prevents you from looking immature.
3. Do I Include Social Links?
This depends on your industry of interest and the culture of the workplace to which you’re applying.
Regardless, it’s always a good idea to survey your social media accounts from an employer’s perspective, even when you’re not on the job hunt. Employers will often search you on social media when they get your application to ensure that you align with their brand morals, values and mission.
Curate a feed that works for both the professional world and your personal world; leave the photos on your feed that tell your story and convey what’s important to you. Social media is a tricky beast; it can be a powerful tool to display your creativity, but it can easily be misunderstood by passerby’s. Use social media wisely and keep in mind that when you post, your future employer may be watching.
4. Do Your Research
Know the company’s mission statement. Companies are often looking for employees who can fluidly align with their values and vision, especially in today’s day when companies place more weight in their office culture.
Hiring managers may pass on candidates if they don’t have knowledge of the company’s mission and values. You will stand out as a star candidate if you do the research ahead of time and highlight your strengths as they align with the company’s overall mission. Take a deep dive into the position itself, learn the names of the executive team from LinkedIn, and express an interest in the company’s goals.
5. Dress to Impress
If you spend days (or weeks) selecting and curating outfits for Coachella’s 3-day extravaganza, you can spend 10 minutes planning your interview look. As the adage says: dress for the job you want, not the job you have.
For more traditional career fields, a sharp blazer with a polished skirt or a well-tailored grey power suit can give the air of sophistication and maturity that your work experience may not portray.
If, however, you are in pursuit of a more creative position, a blouse and a (non-holed) pair of jeans with pumps is a perfect way to showcase your professionality and your creativity.
A cautionary tale for those of you who prefer heels: make sure they give off a #bossbabe vibe and look work appropriate. An interview is not the time for your 4” stilettos; kitten heels or 1-2” heels will suffice for a professional medium.
6. Put Your Best Face Forward
Job Interviews can be extremely nerve-wracking and mess with your mojo. If I’ve learned one thing: confidence is the best accessory and will shine through in an interview.
Where does confidence come from? It comes from self-care, positive self-talk, and practice. Following a daily beauty and wellness routine is a great way to instill confidence: this nearly ritualistic stability will subconsciously prove to yourself that you are worth the investment.
Here are some self-care tips that will likely take care of those pre-interview jitters:
- Get your beauty sleep! I highly recommend going to be on time and avoiding excessive drinking the night before a big interview
- Eating a nutritious breakfast and stay hydrated
- Wash your face. Gently cleanse your skin before makeup application with No Brainer™ Gentle Skin Cleanser for dry/sensitive skin or Pre-Req™ Invigorating Foaming Cleanser for oily/acne-prone skin.
- Hydrate your skin for a more precise makeup application. Goal Digger™ Moisturizing Cucumber Crème is a great option for dry/sensitive skin while Double Major™ Moisture Relief Gel is a great option for oily/acne-prone skin.
- Stay ahead of schedule. Try to 10-15 minutes before the interview so that you don’t have to enter into a conversation with a feeling of being rushed.
Put away your phone!!
Do not look at it, do not think about it, maybe even leave it in the car. Don’t pull it out of your purse to check a notification, not even to check the time.
It may sound harmless to hold your phone in your hand or rest it in your lap while waiting in the lobby, but the presence of your cell phone anywhere visible on your person is a BIG turn-off to employers; it often makes you look disinterested in the interview process and may give the impression that you are easily distracted. Do not reach for your phone until you have exited the building where you conducted your interview.
8. Be Yourself. Everyone Else is Already Taken.
Be honest about your experience, skills, and expectations. Try not to claim proficiency in excel or an expertise in the beauty industry if you can’t back this up once you are hired.
There is nothing wrong with being truthful in an interview if they ask about your skillset. If your interviewer asks whether or not you know how to do a specific skill, it is often better (and respected) to answer “No, I am not seasoned on that particular skill, but I am eager to learn new things and have the ambition to follow-through.” Most internships and entry-level jobs are NOT expecting perfection, they are looking for coachability.
Extra Credit Assignment: following up with your interviewer is always a good idea. In this technology-crazed world of e-mail and DM’s, the thoughtfulness of a handwritten “Thank You” card can leave such a positive impact on your interviewer; it doesn’t have to be much, just a few short lines thanking them for their time and consideration is a great way to show grace and humility and earn you some major brownie points.