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Here are a few of our best tips for landing a PR internship. Managing Pierpont’s intern program, we’ve seen it all in the last three decades. We’ve been fortunate to have had excellent interns and many have joined the firm as entry-level employees (including the author, in 2003). At Pierpont, we always try to share constructive advice with the candidates based and have shared some of that advice below:
The quickest way to get your resume thrown out of the pile is to misspell the company’s name, use a generic cover letter (so 20 years ago!) or include spelling errors in your resume. Remove yourself from the college atmosphere of casual, capitalization-free email exchanges and communicate professionally with whomever you’re emailing. And if your email address makes you sound like a teenager (TexasCutie19), change it.
We have yet to see an intern change the world or revolutionize the bottom line—so don’t promise it in your cover letter. The best contribution any intern can offer is their passion, willingness to help wherever they’re needed and an excitement to learn. Focus on your strengths and the areas that you want to grow.
Speaking of excitement to learn—be enthusiastic! You haven’t been jaded yet by corporate America, so don’t act like it! When an intern is excited to learn and absorb, it makes us excited to teach. You’ll find that once you are an intern, the more enthusiastic you are, the more you get out of your PR internship.
The early bird gets the worm and the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Don’t just send your resume and wait to get a call. Follow up (several times if needed) and make sure your name is at the top of the list. Try a creative approach, like presenting your resume in person and asking to hand deliver it to the person responsible for collecting them. Or deliver your resume with a box of treats. Anything to make you stand out will help you be selected for an interview.
Once you do land a PR internship, treating it like it is your job will boost your chances of making it your job permanently. Take personal responsibility for assignments, anticipate next steps, ask “what’s next” and you’ll make yourself indispensable.
Although following these steps will greatly increase your chances of landing an internship, there are no guarantees in this industry. Make sure to brush off any rejections that come your way and keep applying. Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket.
Want more tips to ace your next PR internship interview?