There is no shortage of scenarios in life that require an application. From a college application to a job application to a scholarship application, and yes, even that vital internship in China you need to put you one step above your peers even has an application involved. And, while it is easy to get in a repetitive groove with applications – regardless of what they are for – it is important to remember how important they actually are.
Your application to something such as an internship is kind of like your resume – it gives a brief overview of you, where you came from, and what you are looking for. Applications are put in place to help condense your information into a clear and concise report. And, therefore, to help the board make their decision as to who would be the best fit for whatever it is that application is for. Your application should represent you well but should also tell them what they need to know. And, just like there is a science to just about everything, there is a science for how to write the perfect internship application.
While I can’t write that perfect internship application for you, I can provide you with a few vital tips that will help you get your application to where it needs to be before you submit it:
1. Emphasize your academic experience.
First and foremost, just like you do on a resume, you should highlight what parts of your background correlate with the position you are trying to obtain. So, for example, if you are trying to secure an internship in China and you just so happened to have learned how to speak Mandarin while still in high school, that would be very beneficial to note as that might be a unique quality they are looking for.
Your academic experience can show them a little bit about why you might be a good fit, what you already know, and what kind of foundation you will be starting the internship with. It also gives them an idea of how you compare to your peers.
2. Target your audience.
I can’t stress this one enough – make your application personal. All too often, people will simply draft a cover letter for their resume and just update the name each time they send it to someone new. However, the person on the other end can readily see that you were not creative or specific with that letter.
Be unique – target your internship application to fit the company, people, and atmosphere in which you are sending it to.
3. Maintain your integrity.
Now, let’s slow down for just a second. I’ve been pounding it into your head that you need to be specific, make yourself look good, and you need to highlight what you bring to the table.
However, never, ever lose your integrity. People do fact check applications and a sure-fire way to get yourself knocked out of the competition is to lie about who you are and/or what you have done.
4. Highlight your goals.
So, of course highlight what you have done and what you bring to the table – while being honest, of course – but, also highlight what you want to do in the future.
By highlighting your goals you show your drive and your ambition, plus, you also give them an idea of how they can help you. This will help them know where to place you, what to focus on, and maybe even allow them to introduce you to some contacts who could help you out. Focus on highlighting your short-term goals, specifically for the internship, as well as your long-term .
5. Proofread your work.
Always, always, always proofread. As a writer, this is second nature to me, but most people forget this step. But, just because there are no red squiggles under your text in the Word document does not mean there are no errors. Just imagine typing “orgasmic” instead of “organic,” that is a big difference.
Of course, at the end of the day, you want to make your internship application your own. It is a representation of you and your skills. Let your personality still shine through in small ways, but ensure you are still professional and accurate. While lying might get your application put ahead at the beginning, it will only get you in a very bad and inevitable situation in the end.
So, while you are writing your perfect internship application, keep these major tips in mind. Also, when you finish it, it is always a good idea to have a friend – or two – look over it just to ensure everything looks the best it possibly can.
Good luck in your internship endeavor and all those to come – you will do great!
About the Author
DAVID SMITH is a blogger and world traveler, with experience in China’s manufacturing industry, as well as social media marketing in his hometown of Los Angeles, California. When not staring at a computer screen, David is an avid badminton player and photographer of natural landscapes. Find him on Linkedin.
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