7 Tips To Prepare You For Applying for Internships in New York City
Applying for internships in New York City sounds very intimidating, but it isn’t. It’s even possible to land your dream internship with preparation and hard work. I have learned a lot through my application process, some things I wish I would’ve known sooner.
Here are some tips to help you feel more prepared and ease your stress as you start to apply for internships in NYC:
Applying for Internships in New York City is Competitive, so Perfect Your Resume and Cover Letter
The first step before looking at internship applications is to have your resume and cover letter perfected. Your resume should have relevant activities, classes, clubs, previous internships, and work experience. Use your resume to showcase your skills and qualifications.
A cover letter is just as important as your resume. Your cover letter should be personalized to each company you apply to. If you can find the name of the hiring manager, then you should address your letter to that person. Remember, Some companies receive thousands of applications. It’s important to take the time to show them that you want to work at their company. The hiring manager knows when a resume or cover letter is sent to a mass amount of companies, and this is why you need to personalize these documents.
It’s essential to make sure your resume and cover letter have no spelling or grammar mistakes. Read it out loud andhave someone else read it to make sure everything flows. If your college has a career service center that can help you with your resume and cover letter, take advantage of this.
You should update your resume and cover letter as you continue to gain more skills and experience. At the beginning of every school year, I go to career services at my college to make sure my resume and cover letter are updated and free of mistakes.
Update Your LinkedIn
Before applying to internships it’s important to make sure you update your LinkedIn.
Your LinkedIn should include skills, activities, volunteer work, and any other relevant information to enhance your professional profile.
On LinkedIn follow companies that you are interested in and like their posts once in a while. This can help put your name on their radar for when you are applying to an internship at that company.
It’s also essential to cleanse your social media before applying. You should Google yourself and make sure the results are appropriate for an employer or hiring manager to see.
Target PR Internships That Best Fit Your Experience Level
When applying for Internships in New York City, an important thing to consider is whether this is your first internship. If the answer is yes, you may want to focus on medium or smaller sized companies. The larger companies and agencies are very competitive, especially in the summer. Larger agencies can release their applications for the summer as early as November.
Small and medium sized PR agencies usually release their summer internship applications in February and March.
Smaller companies have the benefit of enabling you to connect face-to-face with all of your coworkers. Channel V Media is a boutique agency and I love that I can reach out to any of the account executives or even the president. I feel very welcomed and even though I have to work remotely due to the quarantine, everyone at the agency has made an effort to make me feel a part of the team.
Pay Attention to Application Deadlines
It’s important to know what companies you are interested in so you can be aware of application deadlines.
Some applications may require letters of recommendation and most will require a cover letter. It’s essential that you give yourself enough time to perfect the work you are submitting.
I had my resume and cover letter completed in November. I started applying to summer advertising and marketing internships in December and January. Then, I applied to PR internships as agencies’ applications opened in February and March.
Have Housing and Commuting Options in Order
Whether you are in-state or out-of-state, it’s important to figure out how you will be getting to your internship. If you are close to New York City and can take a train, figure out which line you will take and how long the commute is. If you are out-of-state where commuting is not an option, you should start looking at apartments. It’s important to start looking for an apartment at least 2 months prior to your internships. You should figure out if you want to live with roommates and how much you are willing to pay for a place to stay. Living in New York City is expensive and having roommates can help you better manage that expense. You also don’t have to live in Manhattan, there are other options such as Queens, Brooklyn, The Bronx, and Hoboken.
When Applying for Internships in New York City, Make Connections With Alumni
When you know which companies you are interested in, try to connect with alumni from your school who work there.
I reached out to several alumni in February and March when I was applying for internships in New York City. Some spoke with me on the phone and gave me advice. I asked them about the company they are currently working at, their favorite project they’ve worked on, the skills that the company values, and advice for the application. I made sure to thank them in an email for taking the time to talk to me.
Their advice helped me with interviews and they informed me on how to make my application stand out for their company. One alumni sent my resume directly to the hiring manager. Even though I didn’t get that position, I am grateful that I was able to make a strong connection. I made sure to reach out to these alumni on LinkedIn to maintain our relationship.
Attend Internship & Career Fairs
Attending internship and career fairs are another essential tool for making connections. I went to a communications internship fair through my college. I spoke to different agencies in public relations, marketing, and advertising. This is where I had the opportunity to speak with Channel V Media. It sounded like a great place to work with amazing people. As soon as I got home, I immediately filled out an application and specifically mentioned the interaction I had with their account coordinator and intern. I also added the people I met at the fair on LinkedIn. This connection helped me get an interview with Channel V Media for a summer internship.
Applying to internships in New York City involves more than just filling out an application. The work you put into your resume, cover letter, and connections will definitely make you stand out to hiring managers. Being prepared will help you feel more confident and motivated.
Best of luck!