Hello all! I have some really exciting news to share. I’m a firm believer in keeping to myself when I’m not feeling so positive, simply because I don’t want to spread bad vibes. In the wake of my recent good news, I am now ready to give you guys an update on this gruesome process I have endured: applying for internships.
So as some of you may know, I am a first-year law student. During the summer after your first year, it is heavily emphasized that you acquire some sort of internship so that you can gain real-world experience in a field of law you may want to practice. The process of finding an internship is equally as taxing, discouraging, and disheartening as applying for any other job. In fact, APPLYING is a whole job in and of itself! *sigh*
*Now, I’ll get to the point*
Through applying for internships I learned a couple of things I thought would be helpful to anyone looking for an internship regardless of the field. Below are the lessons I learned, feel free to comment any tips you have as well!
1. Check your resumé, double check it, and check it AGAIN.
I mean this with every bone in my body. Your resumé is the first impression a potential employer has of you. If you can’t catch small detail errors like spacing or inconsistency with formatting and grammar then how are they supposed to trust that you will be able to handle a task they assign you? I know it sounds harsh, but the reality is your resumé is essentially you shooting your shot at your crush (job) so put your best foot forward so that you can at least get a reply! Some things to keep in mind are including experience that is relevant in some way to the position you are applying for, having a trusted fresh set of eyes look over your resumé, and possibly looking up resumés on Google of people that have applied for a similar position so that you can have an idea of how yours should look.
2. Apply directly to the source!
What does this mean? Most schools, in my experience, have a portal where they frequently post available jobs. Many of these job portals also have an option for you to apply directly through their site, go ahead and do that, but I have also found it helpful to do a little research of my own and submit my materials directly to the correct person’s e-mail. This shows the employer that you (1) put in extra effort and (2) really desire the job.
3. Cover letters are important.
I know how annoying the extra task of writing a cover letter may be. I also know that when the cover letter isn’t required many people are less likely to actually submit one. I’m here to let you know that people that go the extra mile do get rewarded. Take the time to write the cover letter and submit it whether it is required or not. ALSO, again, Google what a cover letter is supposed to look like. Just because you submit a cover letter doesn’t mean that it will be beneficial to you if you have not written/formatted it correctly. One thing my previous boss (an attorney) stressed to me was the fact that a cover letter, even in an e-mail, must have the proper heading information. Please guys, don’t play yourself!
4. Make yourself seem as marketable as possible!
One way I believe you can do this is by looking at the requirements of the position you are applying for and tailoring your resumé to include those skills. Obviously, don’t lie, but there is a way to phrase your skills to mirror what they are asking of the desired candidate. Also, when listing the experience/skills you gained from a previous position, if you find yourself having a hard time identifying your skills, remember that Google is your friend. Google the position that you previously held, look at what the job description entailed, and add those skills to your resumé.
5. Whatever you do, don’t get discouraged.
This is the best tip of all. As I mentioned earlier, applying for internships is draining. When you go to a school like mine, everyone is always all of a sudden so concerned with whether or not you’ve secured a position. There are those people who genuinely care about your success and those that are just trying to get the tea for their own misuse. Have discernment. You don’t owe anyone anything. Paid internships are also harder to come by than unpaid, always accept experience over money because you will find that the experience will lead you to MORE money down the line. If you find yourself asking “what am I doing wrong?” because you haven’t gotten an offer, take a moment to re-evaluate your resume, check and see if you’re following all of the application’s directions, and take time to practice interview skills, and be sure to check out the link to my favorite interview tips . Don’t be discouraged because there are a number of other people who are having those same feelings. The only thing that will make you feel better is to KEEP TRYING. What is for you will be for you and no one else, remember that!
I am super excited to announce that I will be interning this summer with the AVDA non-profit organization here in downtown Houston, Texas. AVDA stands for “Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse.” AVDA was created to help victims of domestic abuse attain legal representation who may not ordinarily be able to afford an attorney. I have previous experience working in the private sector with a solo family attorney, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to be of service to the community through a non-profit organization. I will keep you guys as updated as my confidentiality agreement will allow. Thanks so much for reading! Take care everyone ❤