Quick Tips for Getting Jobs and Internships

Tips for Job and Internship Applications

Do your research first! You want to know about the company, their services and offerings, before you ever apply. Demonstrate your interest and abilities by doing your company/firm homework first!

Remember: The purpose of an application is to get an interview. The purpose of an interview is to get a job offer and to help you to determine if you want a job offer from the organization.

  • Prioritize speaking to the job qualifications listed in the description to the best of your honest ability in your resume and/or cover letter. 
    • You do not have to demonstrate experience with the job responsibilities to be qualified for a job, you do need to demonstrate you meet the job qualifications. Be truthful, succinct and thorough. You might be asked to demonstrate your skills on the spot.
    • Not sure what qualifications and skills you have? Consider transferable skills! This is where you’ve accumulated experience (communication, teammwork, etc) or skills that are similar to/portable to another skill or responsibility (required for the position).
  • Tailor your cover letter to the job as opposed to sending a generic cover letter.
    • If you don’t know to whom you should address the letter, address it to the “Search Committee” or “Hiring Committee”.
  • Offer professional references when asked to provide references.
    • Prior or current supervisors are generally best.
    • If you haven’t accumulated “work” experience yet, ask your supervisor from the volunteer work or a prior internship you performed; ask a prior instructor or an instructor with whom you performed an independent study; ask the project manager on the team on which you served.
    • Keep your referees up to date on your application and interview activity so they can be prepared to support your candidacy.
  • Proof your materials!
    • Did you state the company/organization correctly?
    • Did you state the job title correctly?
    • Did you follow the general rules of grammar (especially in your cover letter) and the general rules for using initial capital letters in your cover letter?  
    • Did you include your best contact information?
    • Did you check for typos?
    • Do your application materials look well-organized and demonstrate your organizational and written communication skills?
      • If you can’t demonstrate basic attention to detail in your application materials, why would the prospective employer think you are capable of performing quality work with accuracy during a busy season?
  • When in doubt, keep it professional!
    • Avoid familiar language such as Hey X, and use business language, Dear Name/Dear Search Committee.

Tips for Interviewing

  • When in doubt, keep it professional!
    • You probably can’t go wrong wearing a suit or professional/business attire (even in a Zoom interview)!
    • Avoid familiar language in your written correspondence.
  • Ask a friend or colleague to conduct a mock interview with you prior to the real interview.
    • Someone else asking you questions is very different than reviewing possible interview questions on your own. This will help you to feel more confident for your interview.
  • Arrive on time (or a few minutes early) for your in-person or Zoom interview.
    • If you can, test out the drive or walk ahead of the interview, or test your equipment in advance of your interview. This will help you to feel calmer for the interview too.
  • Market your skills and strengths.
    • Be ready to speak to your strongest skills that are relevant to the position.
    • Interviewing with people who know you, such as current colleagues, is deceptively challenging. Don’t rely on their knowledge of your accomplishments; articulate your strengths and skills yourself.
    • Take advantage of the final interview questions, such as “Is there anything else you’d like to add?”, to sell yourself with a brief summary of your strengths, and why you feel you would succeed in the position and add value to the unit.
    • Come prepared with a couple of questions for the committee.
  • Show you are interested.
    • Send a thank you note (or email) after the interview to express your continued interest in the position.


Looking for more tips? Please see our resource page here.