Tips for Job and Internship Seekers
During the past few months, we have received hundreds of applications from college students worldwide who wish to complete their internship with Parents 2 Partners. At P2P, we support interns from all corners of the world to serve their communities by ensuring that their work aligns with their college requirements, providing mentoring, connecting them with opportunities, and meeting with them virtually on a weekly or more frequent basis. Our goal is to ensure that they have access to our support whenever they need it to ensure their success.
While we strive not to turn anyone down, we look for interns who are eager to serve with empathy, familiar with their college criteria, willing to make a difference, and eager to learn. A resume alone may not demonstrate their commitment. This is where the difference between both documents comes in:
When applying for a job or internship opportunity, it’s crucial to have a well-crafted resume and a compelling cover letter that work together to provide the employer with a snapshot of your skills, experience, and qualifications. As someone who reads hundreds of internship applications, I can attest that a resume alone may not be enough to even show your interest in the position.
Here’s what you need to know about crafting an effective resume and cover letter:
Resume: Your resume is a concise and organized summary of your education, work experience, and skills. You communicate how you are an ideal candidate according to their listed job/internship description. Many companies use the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to scan resumes for keywords, so it’s important to customize your resume for each position.
What’s Applicant Tracking System (ATS)?
While our organization does not use this computer software, many others do. It is designed to scan resumes for certain keywords and weed out the ones that don’t match the job description. If you send many applications and don’t hear back, likely because no human saw it. At Parents 2 Partners we read all resumes because our goal is to empower youth to serve as change-agents in their communities, but we still want them to demonstrate the empathy needed to make a difference.
Here are some key elements to include in your resume:
- Contact Information: Include your name, address, phone number, and email address at the top of your resume. Many candidates forget to include their email contact.
- Objective or Summary: A brief statement that summarizes your career goals and qualifications.
- Education: List your educational background, including the name of the institution, degree, major, and graduation date.
- Work Experience: Detail your work history, including the name of the company, job title, dates of employment, and key responsibilities and achievements.
- Skills: Highlight any relevant skills you have that would make you a strong candidate for the position.
- Certifications and Awards: List any certifications or awards related to your field.
Cover Letter: A cover letter is your chance to introduce yourself and show your personality. It should demonstrate why you’re interested in the position and how you can add value to the organization. Here are some key elements to include in your cover letter:
- Greeting: Address the hiring staff by name, if possible.
- Introduction: Begin by introducing yourself and explaining why you are interested in the position.
- Body: Use the body of the letter to highlight your qualifications and how they match the job requirements. Give examples of your skills and experience and explain why you would be a good fit for the company.
- Closing: End the letter by thanking the employer for considering your application and expressing your enthusiasm for the opportunity.
- Signature: Sign off with a professional closing, such as “Sincerely,” and include your name and contact information.
Approach the process with mindfulness
In addition to including the key elements in your resume and cover letter, it’s important to approach the process with mindfulness. Take the time to reflect on your values, strengths, and career goals before crafting your application materials. Use positive and empowering language to describe your experiences and accomplishments, and avoid exaggerating or downplaying your abilities. Remember to also proofread carefully to ensure that your documents are free of errors and are easy to read. By approaching your resume writing with mindfulness, you can convey your unique qualities and stand out as a strong candidate. Finally:
There are many tools available for spell check, including:
- Grammarly: This is a popular tool that checks spelling, grammar, punctuation, and style in your writing.
- Hemingway Editor: This tool analyzes your writing and provides suggestions for improving clarity and readability.
- Google Docs: Google Docs has a built-in spell check feature that underlines misspelled words and suggests corrections.
- Microsoft Word: Microsoft Word also has a built-in spell check feature that highlights misspelled words and suggests corrections.
- Ginger: Ginger is a spell check and grammar tool that offers suggestions for rephrasing sentences and improving your writing style.
- LanguageTool: This is an open-source grammar and spell check tool that supports multiple languages and provides suggestions for improving your writing.
These tools can be helpful for catching spelling errors and improving the overall quality of your writing.
Remember, it’s not just about being qualified for the position, but also about showing your drive to learn and commitment to being present. Take the time to research the position and the company, and use the words in the job description to demonstrate that you are a good fit. And if you don’t hear back from the employer, don’t be discouraged. Follow up with a polite email to check on the status of your application and keep looking for the next opportunity.