Frank E. Parcells, Ph. D., Professor
Department of Communication
Austin Peay State University
Essential Internship Tools
Preparing a Resume Preparing for An Interview
A resume is your tool to get an A resume is your first step to an
interview for an internship. interview invitation for an
Keep the resume simple. internship.
Keep it informative about you. Both cover letter and resume
Limit it to one page. must be persuasive; persuade
Remember, experience is even the internship representative to
more important than your invest in an interview for you.
education in the Keep the cover letter short.
The letter must hi-lite your
Consider all of your experience
including all your relevant strengths.
events and activities. The letter must reference your
Offer references on a separate contact and availability
sheet and not in your resume. information.
Resume & Letter Building for Internship
William Jones William Jones
1111 Jones Road 1111 Jones Road
Hopkinsville, KY Hopkinsville, KY
firstname.lastname@example.org December 15, 2010
EXPERIENCE Ms. Wilma Laughton
Use a bulleted listing of all appropriate work experience KVB PR
and other non-work experiences which are relevant to this Nashville, TN
internship opportunity (for example, sorority or fraternity
communication planning, special event planning, etc.).
You might also include special experiences (foreign study, Dear Ms. Laughton,
other internships, etc.) if relevant to part of this
internship. Please note my attached resume as I am applying for the
internship you posted on the IABC Nashville website. I have the
EDUCATION qualification you have outlined and my past experience in public
List your university, major and minor, and major/minor relations for the PR and Marketing Department at APSU along
and/or cumulative GPA (4.0 scale) if 3.0 or above. Include with my work with my promotional work and newsletter editing
your GPA if it is 3.0 of higher on a 4.0 scale! Do not with APSU Intercollegiate Athletics has provided me with
list high school! essential entry-level skills. KVB-PR offers the perfect
opportunity for me to learn and practice public relations in a
SKILLS professional agency environment.
This is where you can identify in a bulleted listing your
relevant communication skills to the internship. These
might include such skills as MS Office, Adobe Premiere, You can contact me weekdays at my cell phone (270) 591-2030 or
broadcast announcing, etc. via email at email@example.com.
ACTIVITIES, AWARDS, & HONORS I look for ward to an opportunity to meet with you in person.
Use this space to hi-lite any relevant awards, honors, or
activities you’ve earned or participated in during college. Sincerely,
•Be certain to follow up your letter and resume mailing with an email
message addressed to the contact person for your internship.
•Inquire whether or not he or she received your letter and resume.
•Thank him or her for the opportunity to apply for the internship.
•Inform the internship coordinator that you have attached a reference
list to assist him or her in reviewing your materials. Attach this file to
your email as a Microsoft Word document (.doc or .docx) or an Adobe
Acrobat file (.pdf).
•Offer to provide him or her with samples of your communication
work (regardless of what might be most appropriate such as news
releases, commercial copy, video productions, website designed) via
return email attachment OR offer an online location (URL) where he
or she can view or download the creative materials.
•Remind them that you are available and, again, look forward to the
chance to meet with them on a face-to-face basis.
•Always end with a “THANK YOU!”
Additional Contact Before Internship Interview
It’s wise to keep in regular
communication with your
internship contact person.
That said, do not overdo the
amount of added contact.
Any time your follow up with
another email message state a
legitimate reason for your re-
Offer the contact person more
information about your skills or
provide additional creative
works for them to evaluate.
•Keep your name in the memory
of the organization’s Internship
•Find legitimate reasons to re-
connect with the Internship
Coordinator via telephone or email.
•Potential re-connection reasons can
include sending additional work
samples (even unrequested), changes
in your existing or adding more
references, your own address, phone,
or email changes, or additional
questions and/or scheduling issues
you wish to put forward.
When You Receive an Initial Interview Invitation
Respond quickly with both
a “Thank You” email
message and a “Thank
You” letter or notecard.
Clearly state your
availability for the
interview and your interest
in the company and the
Ask if the contact person
would like any other
information from you.
Remember, you want to
stand out from the
others interviewees for
•Always gather information about the organization before your
interview. This is your responsibility and it is almost always
expected by the organization and included in your interview.
Find the location and the easiest way for you to access it, including
parking. Familiarize yourself with the worksite well before your
scheduled interview time.
Familiarize yourself with the organization’s website. Ask yourself
essential questions: What do they do? Who does it? How do they do
it? How do I fit into the organization? the position?
Learn about the organization’s infrastructure. You can usually
begin right online. If you or your network contacts know someone at
the organization, talk to him or her.
Review organizational policy and procedures.
Look over the organization’s Human Resources “Job
Announcements” online to see what types of positions are currently
If You Know The identity of Your
Interviewer, Research Him or Her
Be sure to check-0ut your
interviewer online if you know of
his or her identity. Look on
Facebook.com, Linkedin.com, etc.
Search by name in Google.com.
This can become a real advantage
if you research it properly.
Find out the interviewer’s
background including his or her
work experience, awards and
honors, and current position
within the organization.
Try to identify the interviewer’s
personal hiring preferences and
pay attention to these preferences
when preparing for the interview.
Try To Practice an Interview with A
Professor or Professional
Remember that old adage, practice
makes perfect? It does help when
you are prepared for the internship
Have a professor or professional
review your written materials (cover
letter and resume, portfolio,
samples, etc.) and conduct a mock
interview with you for practice.
You won’t believe how much help
this will be getting you ready for the
Work on Your Responses to Different
Types of Interview Questions
• Try to keep your answers
simple and directly to the
• Don’t offer more details
than what was asked of
• Give examples of relevant
experiences you’ve had
• Never volunteer
information that may be
irrelevant to the inquiry.
•Every Communication Arts major MUST have a portfolio displaying his or
her creative works.
•This portfolio should be available both electronically (on a CD or DVD) as
well as inside a notebook – neatly displaying samples of your creative works.
•This is an accepted and common practice in the communication industry
today for both job seekers and potential interns. All communication
professionals keep written and electronic portfolios up-to-date with their
•As you progress throughout your communication studies, always keep
samples of your web design, commercial copy, feature stories, news releases,
audio and video productions, etc. and place them in your portfolios both
electronic and paper.
•This practice is as important as developing a resume!
Portfolios Include Many Types of Samples
Written & Design
Audio and Video Works
News Releases Produced or Voice-Over
Pitch Letters Commercials
Audio or Video Commercial Documentaries
Complete Print Design Video News Releases
Display Ads Corporate Videos (tours,
Speech Writing product/service
Executive Summaries of introductions)
Other A-V Productions
Signage or Promotional
Materials PowerPoint Presentations,
Newsletters emphasis on business
Effective Use of Audio and Video
Samples in Your Portfolio
Even Include Effective
If you’ve invested time
preparing effective visuals
such as tables or figures
(graphics) used in your
business presentations, be
certain to include them in
your portfolio samples.
Also, works you’ve
completed in your classes
may be useful examples of the
quality of your work.
Don’t Just Introduce Your Portfolio Yourself During an
Interview; Make it Obvious and Available at Your
Bring your portfolio with
you to your interview and
have it displayed in such a
way that the interviewer
cannot help but notice it.
Portfolios are especially
important for interviews
dealing with creative
staffing positions such as
designers and Web
Appearance for Interviews
Professional communicators expect
professional attire and looks from students
interviewing for internships.
What does this mean? This means suit for
women and a sport coat, dress pants, and a
tie for men.
What about facial hair and earrings for
men? These are distractions and serve no
purpose except for the interviewer to
ignore important content information
about you during the interview.. They
distort a male student’s image.
What about piercings for men and women?
The advice here is against going to an
interview with any body piercings other
than women’s earrings.
Legal and Illegal Questions
• Generally, professional communicators interviewing students for
internships or future employment do not ask illegal questions.
• It is important for students to be aware of what can and what
should not be asked of you in such an interview.
• However, not responding to an interviewer’s question(s) will
likely be cause for loss of the internship or employment
• Protect yourself by making certain that the internship you are
seeking is, in fact, a learning situation where you do not become
free labor and a “gofer” for site supervisors. This means go for
this or that.
• The organization benefits from your “free labor” and in return,
you MUST benefit from applied, on-the-job learning.
Anticipate Possible Internship Problems
There is Always The Question
of Internship Liability
What happens if you are injured
on the job?
Who is responsible for your
injury? Is it the University? the
company you are interning with?
Ask the questions before you
accept the internship so that you
are prepared if some problem
develops that concerns your health
or safety during the internship.
Know Your Rights and Protection
Options During Your Internship
You should search online for internship liability
insurance which can be quite affordable for limited-
time internships (10 or 20 hours per week for a 10-week
summer term or even full semester).
Check with your interning company (organization) to
see what responsibilities for intern liability they
Know your liability limitations so that you can
determine your best action. Too much potential
physical liability on the internship might make that
internship unrealistic or impractical for you.
University Statements About
Internships & Health Insurance
APSU Statement on APSU Student Health
Internships Insurance Available
The Communication The University has
Department offers the contracted to provide, on a
opportunity for internships for voluntary basis, sickness
and accident insurance.
which students can earn credit This plan, that includes
that applies toward the degree, hospital and accident
but only 3 hours toward any benefits, is available to full-
major program. time and part-time students
The Communication and their family members at
Department facilitates all
a reasonable cost. Find out
details on this insurance by
aspects of the internship and going to the following
awards a grade when the website for details:
internship is completed. Dr. https://www.pearceandpear
Pam Gray is the Director of ce.com/PearceSite/Schools/
Communication Internships. TN/APSU/.
APSU Liability Limitations
Austin Peay State University is All claims should be filed with
not responsible for bodily the Tennessee Claims
harm and/or death to Commission. Forms for such
participants in any voluntary claims may be obtained in the
organizations or activities, University’s Affirmative
including but not limited to Action Office. Members of the
voluntary athletics, intramural University faculty and staff
recreation, hiking, karate, may not be held liable unless
judo, skydiving, or other personal negligence occurs.
activities in which risk is
incurred. Austin Peay State
University, as an agency of the
state of Tennessee, is NOT
liable for claims resulting from
injury and/or death incurred in