Tuesday, March 24, 2009

getting an internship: "you had me at the semi-colon"

internshipphotoThis week’s business advice is actually geared towards the other end of the business spectrum:


If you are in school (for art or otherwiese) and need to gain experience working for a designer, please read this post before decending upon your next victim employer. This topic is very close to my heart at the moment becasue I have been indundated as of late with resumes and referrals for interns looking to get experience at a jewelry company like Jess LC. With the cloudy economic climate, I have been getting more emails regarding internships than ever. Some are great. Some are okay. Some are half-assed. Below are the attributes that will determine which category you will fall into- so take note and aim high!

Half-assed Internship Contact

  • Email employer with two line email mentioning you are interested in an internship. (May or may not include resume.)
  • Forget to begin the email with a proper greeting. Why will an employer care about you if you don’t care about writing their name?
  • No mention about the actual employer or the company in initial email.
  • Resume in a form other than a Word Doc or PDF.

Good Internship Contact

  • Short email mentioning employer briefly, with proper greeting (ie: “Dear Mr. Gates:”)
  • Professional looking resume (no watermarks or unicorns) with relevant work experience and complete contact information. Resumes should be exactly one page.
  • Open, friendly tone in email without over using exclamation points (!!) but keeping a professional tone.

Great Internship Contact

  • Professional signature block in email (with full name and phone number [no quotes please]).
  • Professional email address, preferably using your name (snazzykatz007@aol.com doesn’t say ‘take me seriously’).
  • Email doubles as a cover letter: highlights most relevant work and school experience, and also mentions why you are excited to work for that company specifically.
  • Resume is one page long, in PDF form, concise, and focuses on relevant work and school experience.


  1. Thank you for this!! I have an internship lined up for the summer but it's always great to get insight :)

  2. this is great advice for anyone looking for employment period. it's amazing to me how many people are lazy when applying and interviewing. another tip: when interviewing if someone asks you why they should hire you, don't say "because I'm awesome." (true story btw.)

  3. Oh my goodness, I have BEEN in your position way too many times to count! Isn't it amazing how many people don't seem to have common sense when it comes to job/internship applications? I seriously have filtered out cover letters that used the phrase 'passion for fashion'. Gag!

  4. @ Elizabeth: Good! I am glad you found it helpful :).

    @ Anon. Chic: That is hilarious! It is surprising what comes up during the job hunt process.

    @ CitySage: Oh gosh, I have seen that one several times. My old recruiter at Macy's used to complain about that phrase too.