Applying for internships can be rough. Long applications, constant resumé editing and lots of stress. It can be hard to know exactly what hiring managers are looking for in interns.  So, I’ve made a list of five things that I looked for as I’ve been hiring my most recent interns.

Your name.

You’d be surprised how many resumes don’t have a name and contact information clearly stated. If I can’t find your name, I’ll probably assume you’re not super detail-oriented and move on to the next candidate. Don’t make this mistake.


Show off your personality! Use color, design elements, list volunteer activities that show your interests. In emails and your CV, use your writing skills to communicate your personality. Most employers aren’t looking for a robot, we want a sense of how you’d fit into the team we’re hiring for.

Grammar. Please, grammar.

Part of my job is copy-writing, so not only is it a basic professional standard, it’s also a pet peeve of mine. Triple check your grammar on your cover letter and resume before applying to an internship.

Industry language.

Whether you’re in politics, marketing, or STEM, using professional industry references in your applications/resume/cover letter will give you a sense of legitimacy. I can testify as a young woman in a male-dominated field, you want that edge.

Follow-up emails.

Every person has different preferences. Personally, I prefer a follow-up email three to five days after an application is submitted. A lot of the time, if you’re applying for an internship, the person handling the search has other duties besides looking at resumes. This is especially true for smaller companies.

Hopefully this was helpful, good luck to all you future female leaders on your search.

Kendra is a marketing and business professional with a passion for web development and music. Located in Missouri, she enjoys growing her personal library and traveling around the state.

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