How to Get That Internship or Job

Follow these steps to increase your chance of getting the job: 

1. Revise your Resume 

Here are some pointers: 

  • The most valuable space on a page is the top, left corner because Western cultures read documents from left to right and top to bottom. Do not leave the top left corner on your resume blank. This is a waste of valuable space.

  • Your address should be smaller and in a less prominent spot on the page under your name, not between two lines that draw a viewer's eye to the LEAST important information on the page.

  • Make your name bigger so it stands out more. Contrast is what makes a page interesting. If you want something to stand out, make it different!

  • Pay attention to your use of white space and alignment. Do not make the dates that you did something right-aligned and the rest of your information about that job left-aligned. This creates awkward, jagged edges that are plain UGLY to the viewer. Plus, it places emphasis on the dates. Why is that important? Why is the company name in bold, and not your job title? Who thinks that underlining, italicizing, using all caps, and bolding should all be used on one document?! Who said you are required to center your name on the page? To see what a resume should look like from a design perspective, look at Professor Dana Anderson's resume. He teaches classes on document design and really knows his stuff. Last point, who said a resume had to be on paper? I've created resumes in the form of pop-up cards, "recipes" for good interns, videos with pictures of projects I have completed beside information about my past experiences, etc. If your job is a creative one (like advertising or marketing), why send in an uncreative resume? I also heard about a girl applying for an internship with the Indianapolis Colts that mailed in a football with her credentials written on it in sharpie. 

2. Research the Company

Show you know your stuff. Investigate recent events and projects the company has completed in the area you are applying for. If you are applying for a marketing job and see on the internet that a new website is coming soon, talk about changes that could be made for the website during your interview. If you are applying for a sales job, talk about a new way to go about selling the product. To do this, you have to know how they already sell it. By showing you are knowledgeable about what goes on at the company, you are showing that you BELONG there. Make it obvious that you can make valuable contributions to the company, and your interviewer will want to hire you so they can learn more. By researching the company, you also show your interviewer that you CARE about the company and the job you are applying for. Employees that care about their job work harder, which is a trait that your future boss wants in an employee. 

3. Pay Attention to Detail (so if they ask, say this is one of your skills)

Nobody wants to hire someone that will not understand basic tasks or someone that does not care enough to get off of their bums and work. To show that you pay attention to detail, do not make mistakes in your cover letter or resume. Proofread!!! Spellcheck!! Get the name of your interviewer right when you are talking to him/her. Don't misspell the name of the company or job you are applying for. Details do matter. 

4. Be Confident 

I'll tell you a secret. Your GPA doesn't matter nearly as much as your people skills. Do you want to know why people hold interviews? It's not to learn about your professional achievements. They can see that on your resume. It's to learn about your personality. Will you fit in with this company's culture? If you are nervous, don't let it show. People want to work with someone that's fun and likeable. I'm not saying that you can walk in with absolutely no experience and charm them into giving you a job with a clever anecdote, but it's a start. Act like you KNOW you are the best person for this job. Relax. Breathe. Laugh a little. Confidence is key to a good first impression. Smile so you look friendly. Nobody wants to work with someone that never smiles. They are downers and will darken the work place with their gloom and doom. Nobody wants to shake a hand that feels like a dead fish either. Don't just let it flop in their hand, be firm! Grip! But don't crush their bones either. 

5. Ask Questions

You better not leave that interview without asking questions. Show you are interested in your future job. Here are some sample questions you could ask:

  • What do you like best about working for this company? 
  • Do you have any examples of the types of projects I would be working on?
  • When can I expect to hear from you next?
  • Is there anything else I can clarify for you?

DO NOT ask the following:

  • How much do I get paid?
  • Is this job important?

Best of luck! If you need to find a job to apply for, visit the Career Services database. And remember, you are a HOOSIER. We are built to succeed. You've got this. 

About The Author
Jessica FramptonAspiring Advertising Copywriter
  • Public and Professional Writing Major
  • Marketing, Telecommunications, and Spanish Minor
  • Class of 2013
  • International Baccalaureate Programme Graduate
  • Football Fan
  • Taco Bell Frequenter
  • IU Ad Association Copywriter
  • Avid Hiker