It’s May, and college seniors across the country are taking their last finals, packing up their apartments and collecting their hard-earned diplomas. Most of them are likely still searching for a summer internship or entry-level position. I’ve reviewed hundreds of resumes and writing samples over the last three and a half years as head of Beehive’s internship program. Needless to say, I’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly. So as a huge advocate of aspiring young PR professional everywhere, here’s some solid advice on resumes, writing samples and interviews, from someone in the trenches. Follow instructions. I think of submitting your resume and writing sample as your first internship assignment. Unfortunately, half of the applicants who submit materials to us fail to follow the clear instructions outlined on our website. This does little to inspire confidence that a candidate can follow instructions when it counts – and the client is being billed for their work. It’s the little things. Formatting, spelling, spacing, consistent tense and tone. Getting the little things right shows me you’ve taken time to prepare your resume and that you care about the details – and that you will be detail-oriented on the job. So while a typo, funky spacing on your bullet points or inconsistent spacing in your headers alone doesn’t put your resume in the “no” pile, when your odds are 1:100, wouldn’t you want to put your best foot forward? No objective necessary. I’m not sure what the official guidelines are these days on resume styles, but I do know that when real estate counts, including an objective is wasted space. Hiring managers know what your objective is – to get a job. Consider including a short paragraph that summarizes how your strengths, skills and experience will help you be successful. Keep it simple. A one-page, well-formatted resume is all you need. And please don’t use small margins or mouse-sized type to keep it to one page. Make sure your resume is focused, tight and easy to read. (Side note: “Fancy” graphics on resumesdo make you stand out – just not in a good way.) A word on social media. First, make sure you have a LinkedIn page. Aside from your resume, this is the next place hiring managers will vet you. Second, lock down your Facebook page, which should remain private. Finally, only list a Twitter account on your resume if it is used as a professional tool that includes a mix of industry-related and personal interest tweets. If Twitter is primarily a social tool for you, protect your tweets or don’t promote your account. Social media should help – not hurt – your job search. The interview. I believe that a resume gets you the interview, but you earn yourself the job. It’s always disappointing when a candidate shows up stiff and reserved – what we are looking for is your energy and a glimpse of your personality. Think of an interview like a first date. Come looking your best, feeling confident and ready to be the very best version of yourself. Great candidates come to an interview prepared (bring lots of questions and do your research). They’re memorable and likeable. In the end, if the candidates are well matched experience-wise, it comes down to this: Who would our team want to spend 40 hours with every week? Follow-up. Please be sure to send a handwritten note or an email within a few days. A follow-up note allows you one last opportunity to stress why you are the candidate of choice. Not to mention saying “thank you” is simply good manners – and that goes a long way. Cheers to the Class of 2013!


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