Monday, April 18, 2011

Tips for Applying for Summer Internships

  1. The obvious: Don't leave parts of the resume template in your resume. Also, while I know the difference between a cobra and CORBA, I am not familiar with "Mapel." Similarly, be careful with your mail merge, and tell me that you want to work here and not somewhere else.

  2. Still pretty obvious, I would think: I ask for attachments in plain text or PDF format. Don't send me Word files. I ask you to address your materials to Dr. S. Rudbeckia Hirta, so don't address your email to Ms. Hirta.

  3. A student who looks like a possible good hire (from cover letter) wrote to me but didn't include a resume. I wrote back, "Thanks so much for your email. Did you forget to attach your resume/CV? We would need that in order for your application to be complete. We look forward to hearing from you!" Stu's entire response: "The intern sent us"

  4. Bright spot! The original job ad had a link to our web page and a link to the group that we share office space and some staff with. One student clearly looked at these web pages and possibly googled our groups and gave specific examples about why we are a great place to work.

  5. If you are an undergrad and your only jobs so far are of the waiter/lifeguard/supermarket variety, then you don't need a resume that is more than one page long. Also, you don't need to make a big deal about every different position that you held at the supermarket. You can say something like "Ralph's Supermarket, La Jolla, CA 2008-2011, part time and seasonal full time. Positions held include checker, bagger, and stocker," and then put in a little bit about what you did -- especially if it is something that matters to me (like worked long hours without being a flake).

  6. If you have a name like Elżbieta Kozioł and indicate on your resume that you are fluent in Polish (not a requirement of the job!) and write your cover letter in somewhat broken English (for example, mis-use of "the"), then I'd appreciate it if you could give me a hint about whether you can work legally in the United States. Dziękuję!

  7. Also: Really, you don't need to stretch out your resume to be a full page. If you are adding extra things, you really don't need to tell me that you "Attend First Baptist Church, Atlanta, Georgia." If you volunteer at your church, you might have something to add. Attending church? Not needed on your resume for this position.

  8. Speaking of resumes. As I am advertising for undergraduate summer interns, I am expecting to get applications from people who have not had a lot of work experience. That is why I also asked for a 250-500 word personal statement/cover letter. This is where you can let me know how much you love engineering, computers, or science and what sort of informal experience you have that doesn't fit anywhere on a resume. Related: If I were looking to hire people who could start getting serious work done on Day 1 with no training? Wouldn't be looking for undergraduates.