Read about what to do next in your internship process told by the PRSSA Blog Team.
By: Rachel Mooney
We’re all in different stages of the internship application process right now, and many have accepted offers that solidified professional plans for the summer of 2016. Let’s say though, that you are one of the college students who are currently playing the waiting game on many of your submitted applications.
You’ve done the company research, drafted every last cover letter, tailored all your resumes, and finally hit submit on the countless summer internship applications to agencies, corporations, start-ups and more.
Okay, so now what?
Take a deep breath and congratulate yourself. The application process can be stressful and time consuming. There is nothing better than confidently hitting submit and completing another application—that is until you hear a response.
Although you may feel a weight has been lifted, the work is not over. You don’t want to forget about the companies you have applied to, or lose track of the responses. I would suggest making a list immediately of all the internships you applied to, if you haven’t already done so. In addition to listing the company names, be sure to list the contact information of which you sent your information to, as well as the date you submitted your materials.
Double-check your social media and online presence. Chances are if you’re applying to a PR-related job or internship, the recruiter will search you online. Boost your online personal brand as a college student with tips from this blog post on TheLadders.
Be prepared for a response. Check your email regularly, keep your phone on (not “do not disturb” like mine always defaults to), and make sure your voicemail inbox is not full. You do not want to miss an important call or have a response from a potential employer get mixed up in the disorganization of your email and voice messages.
Each time you receive a response, document the date and write down the details of your interview if selected to the next round. This will also help you keep track of the companies you do not receive responses from, and therefore whom you need to follow up with. Many people have mixed opinions on the art of the follow up and how to craft a note to make a strong impression, rather than one that may sound pushy. If you decide to follow up after submitting an application, try to avoid sending a message prior to the application’s deadline.
Do not panic. It’s okay if you do not hear back from companies right away, and it’s okay if you receive rejections. I recently read a fitting line in a PR in Your Pajamas blog post that stated “not every job is the right job for you.” If you do not move on to the interview round, don’t fret—just be proactive, follow up on other applications, and keep working toward your internship goals! You should always maintain good rapport with the internship and HR coordinators even if you receive a rejection. You may not be a perfect fit for that position now, but you never know if you’ll make a good fit with the company in the future.
Never stop applying. Never stop researching. Even if you’ve submitted dozens of applications already, do not be afraid to apply to other companies. I always feel it’s better to have options. It also forces you to continuously update your resume, work on your portfolio and writing, and perfect your personal pitch. After all, the better you know your own professional work, the better you will be at presenting yourself in the interview rounds.
Finally, remember to relax when you’re feeling stressed about the internship application process. As long as you stay motivated, remain involved with the industry, and continue pushing forward, then you will find the perfect internship that helps launch your career in public relations.