In the past decade, I’ve gone from being an intern to entry-level to a senior account manager at several public relations agencies. At HBI, I have hired a handful of interns and gone through hundreds of internship applications and felt the need to share some insight of what I’ve seen over the past few years…
Step 1: Resume:
Resumes should ALWAYS be one page – and only one page. There is no reason for a potential intern to have more than a one-page resume. Resumes should be clean and easy to read, but in public relations, they can also have a little “flair” if the writer chooses to go in that direction. If the resume is clean, I see no problem with adding a little color or décor to the resume itself.
Step 2: Phone Interviews:
Please treat phone interviews with the same respect as an in-person interview. In the past year, I’ve had candidates hang up on me, order food at the drive-thru, speak to someone in the background and countless other crazy things. I know that candidates have busy lives with classes, part-time jobs and spring break – but I need to squeeze in phone interviews during my client work time!
It’s also highly disrespectful to not answer a scheduled phone call. This is grounds for immediate resume dismissal. Of course, life happens – but I took the time out of my day to chat with you, so please remember that and be courteous if you have an absolute emergency and need to reschedule.
Step 3: In-Person Interviews:
I only invite a handful of top candidates into the office to interview with not only me but several members of my team. Most companies are the same. If you are lucky enough to make it to the next round of interviews, please remember that this internship or job is now yours to lose – so bring your “A game” and fight for this offer. Dress professionally: this means a suit or a nice dress and a blazer.
Research the company in advance and come prepared with questions! I love when our intern candidates know our client roster, our biographies, etc. It shows me that you care enough to take the time to do your homework on us; we’ve already done our research on you.
A thank you card, especially a handwritten note, goes a LONG way. I was taught to always send a written thank you as well as a thank you email. In addition to being polite, it’s just a nice gesture! If you don’t get the position you’d like, stay in touch with the hiring manager on LinkedIn. You never know – he or she may know of a position that isn’t posted online or may pass your resume along!