Today’s guest post was written by Luke Richter, a Senior at California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo who is majoring in Business and minoring in Statistics and Economics. He recently spent time interning as a campus ambassador for InternMatch connecting with students and improving localized brand outreach.

Internships in today’s economy are becoming a necessity for any student looking to remain competitive in the job market. Most employers expect internship experience, while at the same time it has become harder for students to distinguish themselves when looking and applying for internships.

The big question remains, how can I stand out from other internship applicants? Here are a few tips to help you.

Personalize & Customize Your Resume

In today’s environment most students consider internship applications a numbers game, but I would argue that it revolves around how you personalize and customize your resume. But exactly how can you be sure that your resume will stand out from the rest? One way of doing this would be to use your college’ s seal as a watermark on your resume. It adds another level of elegance and depth to your resume in the crucial seconds that your resume is evaluated. Another useful trick is to incorporate the company’ s logo into the objective section of your resume. I have personally gotten a lot of “brownie points” for this and feel that it is an easy way of differentiating yourself.

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Be Tactical at the Career Fair

Ok let’s be honest. Career fairs for most of us are very confusing and often times inefficient. So in order to get the most use out of your time it would be important to strategize accordingly. One effective technique revolves around showing up just as the career fair is ending. By doing so psychologically you are more likely to stand out from the others simply because you will be the last person that the recruiter remembers talking to, your resume will more likely to be on top, and also you will be able to appeal to the exhausted emotions of the recruiter by suggesting bars or restaurants for them to try while they are in town.

The Cover Letter is Important

I once thought that cover letters were mundane and trivial in the internship search process, but boy was I wrong. After talking to a couple recruiters at a career fair in Cal Poly San Luis Obispo most of them told me how disappointed they were with most cover letters mainly because most were unoriginal, or putting it more bluntly, probably just one of the sample cover letters copied and pasted from a quick Google search. But one way of making a more lasting impression with a cover letter would be to personalize it by including the company’s logo bringing added value.

Use Online Resources

Networking is a key ingredient in landing any internship. One simple way to do this is to create a LinkedIn account and begin networking with fellow colleagues, classmates, and professors. Sites like offer professional networks where you can meet potential employers in person. All in all, it is imperative to utilize these resources as they will help you with your online presence while expanding upon your professional network base.

Timing is Everything

With the majority of internships coming in the summer time, it may be time to rethink when exactly you want to complete your internship. Most students look to the summer as the best time to look for internships as they are free from school or other obligations. A different approach revolves around landing and internship in the Fall, Winter, or Spring time where the applicant pool may be less competitive. Although it may not be a full time internship, it allows you the opportunity to get a head start on other applicants and may give you the golden opportunity to get your foot in the door.
At the end of the day there is a lot of preparation that goes into landing an internship. Each
interview exhibits the opportunity for you to grow by learning new interviewing tactics and also
self-branding techniques. The little things do matter. So what are you waiting for? Get out there
and get your dream internship!


Do you have any helpful tips that have helped you land and internship? Let us know in the comments!

If you have any questions about internship strategies you can email Luke Richter directly at [email protected]