Whether you’re thinking about doing an international internship in the future or almost ready to submit your application, you’ll want to make sure you’re prepared! Here are IIP’s tips to help you put your best foot forward in the application process.
1. Pay attention to deadlines
Make sure you know the application deadline for all internships or programs you’re applying to, and give yourself plenty of time to get your application together. IIP-cultivated internships have fairly standardized deadlines, but other internships have their own timelines. International research programs in particular tend to have deadlines well in advance of their start dates. When looking for internships, be sure to note the application dates and any required materials (like a letter of recommendation) to avoid last minute scrambling!
2. Tailor your cover letter to the position
One of the best things you can do to make your application stand out is to have a strong cover letter that pertains directly to the position you’re applying for. Share the skills you have gained through coursework or past experiences that will help you in the internship. Don’t just repeat the information from your resume – your cover letter is a place to highlight information that may not be obvious from your resume. You’ll also want to explain why you’re excited about this particular internship and working with the organization – does it give you the opportunity to work in a field you’re excited about? Have you studied the language or culture of the host country? What do you know about the organization and why are you excited to join their team?
3. Take advantage of campus career services
Need some help putting together an effective resume or cover letter? The Career Services offered through your School or College are a great place to turn to. They may have guidelines for resumes & cover letters to get you started, or offer appointments to look over a draft that you’ve put together. One advantage of working with your School or College’s career services office is that they’ll be able to help you with the conventions for your field – a resume for an engineer tends to look a little bit different than a resume for a marketing student, for instance.
Wherever you are in the application process, we encourage you to reach out to the advisors at IIP. Whether you’re just thinking about starting an application and want to get some more insight on the position, or you’re ready to submit your application and want someone to take a final look at your materials, we’re here to help!