How to Sell Yourself as an Intern – CV & Cover Letter
As a corporate body, we receive application emails from several interns every now and then. These emails, in most cases, remain unattended to for two reasons: they look unbelievably fake and totally unprofessional for a soon-to-be university graduate.
Job hunting isn’t exactly a pleasant task, that’s why university students decide to test the waters before they graduate.
All the same, you shouldn’t handle this pre-job hunt with levity, you have to put as much work into it, just as you plan to after your graduation.
However, to be successful in the job market, you need an in-depth understanding of what you’re selling. You need to identify your unique attribute and how to communicate it with employers.
One easy way around this is to view job- hunting in its crudest form, consider yourself as a product or an individual brand.
Your time in the university serves as a manufacturing phase, and your goal is to sell your “product” in the “job market”.
CV & Cover Letter
While applying for an internship, you have to submit an outstanding resume and cover letter. If your application is good enough, you’ll receive an invitation to an interview, but if it’s not, you’re definitely getting ignored and your cover letter would probably land on a blog post titled “Examples of Cover Letters you Shouldn’t Copy”.
There’s a viral misunderstanding as regards the importance of a cover letter, so interns tend to focus all their energy on the CV. Note that this belief in the irrelevancy of a cover letter can be detrimental to your professional success.
[tweetshare tweet=”There’s always a recruiter who bases their entire hiring decision on how good your cover letter is.”]
A resume and cover letter work hand in hand and they are the foundation of your success as a job applicant. If you get both right and hit your interview out of the park, you’d definitely receive an internship or a job offer.
In case you’re not sure about the point of writing a cover letter, keep reading.
The purpose of a CV is to communicate your achievements to a potential employer and a CV never uses personal pronouns like “I” or “Me”. So, instead of saying, “I helped grow the ICT Instagram account to 10,000 followers” a CV states, “helped grow the ICT Instagram account to 10,000 followers”.
Because of this traditional formatting, it can be difficult for prospective interns to express their personality, hence a cover letter.
These are three major purposes of a cover letter:
- Introduce yourself to the prospective employer.
- Express your interest in a specific position available in the company.
- Explain why the company should hire you.
Consider all these other bulleted points while writing a CV & Cover Letter:
- Who are you?
- Why are you writing?
- Why are you interested in the available position?
- Why do you want to work for the company?
- What makes you qualified for the position?
- What specific experiences, i.e. student organizations (Red Cross, SUG), courses) prepared you for the role?
- Use corporate emails while writing both.
- Don’t “apply for the position of intern”, you should “apply as an intern”.
- The fact that you have a CPGA of 4.59 doesn’t mean you automatically qualify for the job, you have to improve your skills in written and spoken English. Learn the difference between “been” and “being”, “their” and “there”, “am” and “I’m”.
- Learn to punctuate your sentences appropriately.
- If you’re going to contract your CV & Cover Letter out, make sure your spoken and written English is as good as what you initially portrayed. Companies hire people, not paper, so even if you have the best CV, you still have to sell yourself.
- Whenever you have to use the word “I”, make sure it’s in capital letter.
- A Cover Letter for an internship must explain what you want to learn and why you want to learn it.
- Explain how you’ll bring value to the organization.
- Don’t overdo it, avoid listing 5 different positions at a time.