5 common mistakes to avoid while applying to an internship
1. Making spelling errors.
One of the most common mistakes while applying to internship are grammatical and spelling errors. Mistakes happen, but spelling and grammatical errors show that you might not have great attention to detail. It can be hard to notice your own errors, especially after you’ve looked at something a million times, so have your parents or a friend take a look at your cover letter and resume to check for those tiny little apostrophes and extra words that you might have missed. You can also rely on some spell-check software’s.
2. Using the same cover letter and resume
Each cover letter and resume you send should be customized to the opportunity you are applying to, and the professor you are directly emailing. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time, but make sure you tailor it to the specific internship opportunity. Taking the time to include specifics related to the particular subject and/or position in your cover letter will help you stand out. Take some extra time and email the professor regarding any discussions or doubts you have regarding the subject.
3. Avoid using a fancy resume.
While you want to show the employer that you have mad Photoshop skills, your resume is not the place for it (unless of course it’s a super-creative job like in the design field and they ask for it). Make it easy for them to choose you by keeping your resume simple, clear, and to the point — i.e. no graphics or photos embedded (especially no personal photos). That means, black and white only, and saved as either a PDF or JPG. Keep the font 12pt and the spacing single spaced.
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4. Avoid Flattery.
Don’t try to boast about your personal achievements or even involve into flattering the professor. You can play it safe if you really know the professor and his work well enough. Sometimes applicants are a little too honest and reveal more information than they should. Whatever the reason you give, make sure you say nothing negative about a previous employer. Reveal only enough information to be honest but not disparaging.
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5. Follow Through
After sending a resume about a job or internship, follow up on your application. Show the interest you have in the position by contacting the professor with a brief email or phone call reiterating your excitement about the opportunity. Also respond to any correspondence the professor sends you in response to your application. Keep checking your inbox regularly. For example, if you are asked to fill out an online application or send in extra paperwork, complete these extra steps promptly.