Tips for Student Interns – Applying, Interviewing, On the Job

The internship application process can be overwhelming, but there are a few surefire ways to land your dream internship (and some other ways to ruin your chances of landing it). This list includes the basic Dos and Don’ts, not only of the application process, but also your daily work day as an intern.

Resume for Internship Job

Applying for an Internship

  • DO have someone proof-read your resume before you send it in (most people make at least one spelling error on their resume that they don’t see on their own)
  • DO write a cover letter, and put a lot of thought into it
  • DON’T use the same generic cover letter for every internship
  • DO consider job shadowing or informational interviews if you can’t decide what kind of internship to get
  • DON’T "put all of your eggs in one basket" and only apply to one internship program
  • DO take some time to organize yourself by making a spreadsheet of important deadlines and submission dates
  • DO take the time to do research about all of the possibilities to figure out what works best for you
  • DON’T wait until the last minute to get your materials together
  • DO ask professors, friends and colleagues for advice about where to apply

Interviewing for an Internship

  • DO talk about your interests (beyond what is on your resume) to your interviewer to make yourself stand out
  • DO send a thank you note
  • DO wear your best suit
  • DON’T wear something that makes you feel uncomfortable (the interviewer WILL notice)
  • DON’T be late!

Working at an Internship

  • DO be friendly to everyone, especially the people that you will be working with most. For an intern, this often means the mail room staff, copy room staff, receptionist and executive assistants
  • DON’T be afraid to state your opinion, if someone asks for it
  • DO take on extra responsibility if offered
  • DON’T take on more than you can handle
  • DO ask for help
  • DON’T get involved in an office romance
  • DO ask for a mentor
  • DON’T accept an internship job that you have absolutely no interest in


Intern Qualities