Oh finals… you’re wether done with them or struggling to finish your term. For many this means you’ve found an internship or currently looking for one. While for others, you’re almost done with your studies and will officially find yourself on the lookout for a job. With that comes the pressure to find one in your field, stress of job interviews that comes along, etc. As a supervisor myself for interns who come at LeCahier during their studies, I told myself I should perhaps write an article that will give you a few tips in order to maximize your chances to stand out once you’ll send your application. If those tips might seem evident to you, well perfect then, because take it from experience, nothing is forever sure.
Source: The Odyssey Online
1- Send your resume as PDF, NOT Word
I mean, you put a lot of effort in your layout, chose a great font you found online, spent several hours working on your resume and once I receive the latter, it’s all crooked because I do not have the same font on my computer. In order to avoid this nightmare, here’s a life-saving tip: send your resume as PDF. Looks cleaner and definitely more professional.
In fact, I strongly suggest you to work on your layout and create a resume that fits your personality: that alone will make you stand out!
2- Make it your own
I’m always asking for a cover letter. It’s one thing to have work experience, but often, when you’re fresh out of Uni, you simply don’t have the experience in your field. Certainly, this is normal and I have no problem with the latter, however, having a cover letter attached to your resume is the perfect opportunity to tell your future employer (or me, for example) why you are the perfect candidate for LeCahier! Things such as what have you in your life that makes you the perfect candidate for this position and addition to my team? For me, it’s all about the cover letter. I’m disappointed whenever I receive one that isn’t personalized or looks like a copy/paste format you send to everyone making your employer believing this particular internship doesn’t figure at the top of your list. Moreover, I don’t know anything about you, meaning what makes you the perfect candidate. It’s your job to tell me before I even ask you! Nevertheless, I do recognize one’s motivation when I notice someone telling me they love the blog and reasons why, what she/he can bring to the team and content, etc. it creates that spark we, employers, seek and what sets a normal candidate to someone we’re looking forward to meet apart.
3- Contact the right person
Each time we post internship opportunities, we write that one’s application should be directly send to Virginie Pichet (me). I cringe whenever I received applications that start with “To whom it may concern”… I mean, don’t get me wrong, that’s a perfectly written example… when you DON’T know who you’re writing to. However, when you have a contact that is clearly indicated, you letter or email needs to be addressing that so-say person. It’s not rocket science and it takes two seconds, but it does make quite the difference on the receiving end. It shows you’re well-informed and motivated. Simple as that.
4- Use a dictionary if needed!
Let’s just say that grammar mistakes don’t qualify as a good first impression. In my case (probably like most comms internships), the latter requires lots of ongoing management of social media activities and writing. If I see a mistake every three words in your application form, this tells me it’ll be the same for your articles. If you don’t proofread your resume, this also tells me you’ll be lacking during your internship. That say, be careful! There’s no excuse: Antidote is a great tool, you can have a friend or pay someone to proofread your text. This isn’t an exam so don’t rush it and take your time in order to ensure you’ll send a document that is worthy of the highest position you’re seeking.
5- Prep yourself
With these previous tips, you should, according to me, get an interview. Before presenting yourself, try to arrive prepared. Do your research on the firm and go-over the internship/job posting in order to know what lies ahead. Prepare a short list of questions and if you don’t have anything that comes to mind, do the opposite, try to prepare a list of answers that will potentially be thrown your way. Don’t go overboard, employers usually ask the following:
Why do you wish to have an internship at our firm? Now’s the time to talk about the firms’ merits!
According to you, how does Le Cahier [insert your firm’s name here] stand out among others blogs? Someone once replied “I don’t know”… I wish I was joking.
What’s your biggest strength in a collaborative team/ what do you wish to improve? Poor question I’ll admit, but I have to say this one is a recurrent question so ensure you have an answer ready!
PS: If ever you’re interested in taking a summer internship at our office, send me an email at [email protected]! Mister is waiting for you:
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