Helpful Tips to Get That Internship

Photo by Britta Jackson on

A couple of weeks ago I visited New York for the first time with the Mizzou Magazine Club to tour magazine offices, speak with editors and designers (some were Mizzou alumni!), and get a feel for the city. One of the main questions we asked were what they looked for when hiring interns; this is the collective consensus.

How to prepare (without doing anything)
Stay true to the things that interest you.
Write or share topics on social media relevant to your interests.
Be digitally savvy.
Work on your side hobbies.
Connect with your peers and teachers as much as possible.
Work on a portfolio site.

Before applying
Research the company. Read the publication.
Follow directions when it comes to submitting resumes and cover letters. If you don’t follow instructions the first time, there won’t be a second.

Short & sweet cover letters
Don’t start with “To Whom May Be Concerned:”
Keep your cover letter short and to the point.
Write a genuine cover letter. Do not use generic letters. They can tell.
Talk about something the publication did recently that you liked or an idea or two that would fit well for their publication.
No typos.

Review that resume
Keep it one page. Trim off anything that doesn’t apply to the position you are interviewing for.
Make your resume unique and interesting by playing up your strengths. Mention something you did that benefitted or bettered the company you worked for such as helping their social media presence or writing a story that spread awareness in your community.
Send resume as a PDF; not all computers have the same Word version.
Avoid links and attach one PDF of your all work.
Bring a copy of your resume to your interview.

How to win your interview
Know how to answer “Who are your favorite writers?”
Talk about something you didn’t mention in your resume.
Pitch a few ideas or stories they would be interested in.

Be available for your position. A news cycle doesn’t wait for anyone.
Write handwritten thank you notes on top of thank you emails.

Don’t forget: Be a curious person.

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