February 24, 2015
By: McKennah Robinson, @kennmilli
Spring is fast approaching, and for a majority of students, that can only mean one thing – the hunt for internships has begun. It’s finally time to get that resume in tip-top shape and perfect the cover letter. We all know how important it is to impress a potential future employer, but it can be very easy to accidentally sell yourself short along the way.
I have found myself guilty of doing this. To keep myself from compromising who I really am to employers, I have made a mental list to ensure that I am putting my best and most true self out there. Here’s a few ways to ensure that you represent the true you throughout your internship search.
- Don’t be afraid to show that you excel in other skills besides journalism.
As journalists, we are all expected to be able to write and communicate well. What we aren’t expected to do is have other, outside-of-the-box skills, such as knowledge of programming. When trying to tailor yourself to a company, throwing these skills off to the side is easy to do. We justify it by thinking that the company doesn’t want to see a skill like that on your resume. However, I say put those types of skills on your resume, or in your cover letter. Not only does it show your capacity of knowledge in various fields, but it may also make you stand out in the long run.
2. Don’t mold yourself – online and offline – in to something that you’re uncomfortable with.
We have all heard the saying, “Don’t post it if you wouldn’t want a future employer to see it!” so many times that we could recite it in our sleep. I wholeheartedly agree with keeping Twitter, Instagram, etc. clean, but trying to gear your presence towards what you think an employer might like to see makes you lose your individuality. If you enjoy tweeting about the latest news, then do it. If you’re like me, and enjoy tweeting about the latest awkward moment in your life, then do it. Most likely, the company who has the personality that is closest to yours will love your social media presence and won’t expect anything else from you.
3. Like what you like – point blank.
It is extremely tough when you walk in to an interview and the first thing they ask is “So, tell us about yourself.” We all automatically jump to what we think the employer wants to hear, instead of actually telling them what we like. They already have our resumes and cover letters, so they know what we are capable of professionally. Tell them what hobbies you have or what show you spent way too much time watching on Netflix last semester. Having your little quirks that you’re proud of makes you a memorable person and gives the employers ample ways to connect with you outside of a desired career goal.
Being professional is important and helps get the job done. However, being an individual and showing employers what you’re proud of, and what your personality is like, is equally as important. May the PR force be with you.