So, about that news that I mentioned last week. I could pretend to act all cool about this and make out that it's hardly a big deal, but uh, GUESS WHO'S AN ONLINE CONTRIBUTOR FOR COMPANY MAGAZINE. Me, that's who. No biggie. Ahem.
Anyway, after interning with Company last week it's safe to say it all went pretty smoothly, and since this is this is perhaps my fifth internship I've decided to share with you some secrets that I may have picked up along the way. Hopefully they'll help you score your dream internship..and maybe even your dream job!?
They say it's not about what you know, but who you know, and whilst that may be kind of true in the fashion industry, it's not the be all and end all. When I first landed an internship the only semi-related things I had on my CV were my Tumblr account and a few pieces of College work that were seriously outdated. So if - like me at that time - you really don't think you have anything crazy outstanding to shout about, think again. It may not be a qualification or anything on paper, but even mentioning your hobbies and how they've sculpted you as a real life human being (!!) will help with your chances. I always like to include a 'personal' section on my CV that enlists a bunch of things that I'm proud of, and what skills I've gained from them. If possible, try and actually demonstrate them on your resumé if you can. Great at graphic design? Make it look that way! I can't think of anything worse than reading 500 applications written out in Arial font, so make something that you're actually proud of. If you're not super qualified, at least make it look like you are.
THE COVER LETTER
So this is the place where it's time to shine. If there's one thing you take away from this, it's to make sure that you make your cover letter personal to the company/organisation you're contacting. Find out the name of the person you're writing to, research the company and be sure to include some opinions and reasons as to why you actually want to work there.
Sounds a little boring though, right? I don't know if it's a general rule, or if I've just been lucky, but my most successful applications have included more light-hearted, personal information about myself. In fact, about two emails into chatting with the deputy editor of Company I decided to bring up my love for cats. Lolz. Now I wouldn't suggest caps-locking your ULTIMATE LOVE FOR RYAN GOSLING in an email to Anna Wintour, but it won't cause any harm to include a little bit about you - not just the work your produce blah blah blah. Again, it's all about standing out from a crowd of countless other applicants.
THE FOLLOW UP EMAIL
Unless you're a crazy pro (which if you are, why are you reading this!?) the chances of you getting every internship you've ever applied for is pretty unlikely, so expect some not-so-positive emails. In fact, expect to not even receive replies sometimes. I mean hell, I feel pretty busy sitting here writing this blog post, so just imagine how busy some of these editors are!
One thing I always like to do is create a follow up email a few weeks after applying, just to check up on whether or not they received my application (it's basically a polite way of pestering). If they don't reply, no harm done, but more often than not I'll get a reply shortly after, to which you can strike up a conversation.
Like I said, no one is going to get every internship they've ever dreamed of, but that doesn't mean it was a waste of your time applying. If you didn't get the job of your dreams, simply ask why! It seems a little daunting at first (and almost like a U WOT M8 kind of situ) but most people are happy to point you in the right direction, especially if they know how eager you are. I once applied for one internship, got declined, upped my cover letter game, came back and got through almost instantly! Just because you get declined, it doesn't mean you're banned from the halls of *insert organisation here* for the rest of time.
So this varies depending on what it is you actually 'do' - for example, we all know I'm a bit of an online person (because real life is for l0zerz) so whenever I'm trying to showcase my work I'll always try to make a personalised website for that company. Even if it's just a Tumblr page or Wordpress featuring your work, going that extra mile will always look good on your application.
Hope this helps some of you! Shoot me any other questions in the comments below.