How to be the perfect internship candidate

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Joe Wright/File

For those of you who have already secured an internship for the summer — cool. For those of you who haven’t, let’s all freak out together! We are the majority, after all. To help the latter group of unfortunate people out, we have interviewed industry experts in all the fields (that’s right, all the fields) to determine what makes an intern candidate stand out.

1. List everything about yourself

Birth date, horoscope, favorite colors, favorite memories, your journey to deciding on your major, what you ate for breakfast this morning, etc. The reason that internship applications exist is so that employers can find out more about you. So why not be the overachiever they like to see and tell them your entire life story?

2. Write a cover letter that’s 3+ pages long

Every employer has the time to read cover letters this long, because picking interns is their main focus. They will sit down and read this, and they will appreciate the time you took to write out all your feelings about the position (and about the new “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” trailer — it’s “The Empire Strikes” back all over again, right?). They’ll know that the opportunity really matters to you, and once they see the length of your cover letter, they’ll hire you right on the spot.

3. Talk about other internships

Really, if you compare and contrast other internships for the employer, they’ll know you’re very skilled at being decisive and organized. Talk about the reasons why you like and dislike this internship compared to another one you’re looking at, and they’ll respect your perspective. They’ll also view the insults you make about their company as helpful, constructive criticism — you’ll see.

4. Talk about how much time and effort you put into this application

They’ll really want to hear this, because they want to know you’re a hard worker. So, just plant several times throughout your application the phrase, “I worked really hard on this application.” Your prospective employer will be absolutely floored by your commitment and dedication.

5. Talk about why you’re a better candidate than your mutual acquaintance

If you know anyone else who is applying for a certain internship, then be sure to highlight their faults throughout your application. It’ll make you look good and them look bad, which is always the point, right? Just include a little blurb of information, such as, “Jimmy is a much worse candidate than I, because did you hear what he did at Alpha Chi Tau Psi last Saturday?” Employers respect honesty and openness, and they’ll believe you. You’ll be the one hired, not your best friend Jimmy.

We can’t guarantee that these tips will help you obtain your dream internship, but we’re pretty damn sure that with they’ll make you a standout candidate.

Contact Esmé Brachmann at [email protected].

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