Undergraduate Blog / Career Development

How to present yourself in your applications

While in my previous blog post I described how to find an internship, probably the most important aspect of the process would be how you present yourself. In these situations, you are very much like a salesman, trying to show the best assets you have to offer while downplaying your weaknesses.

To do this, cleaning up your resume is crucial. First off, when it comes to resume, less is more. You want to be concise and get straight to the point. These recruiters will wade through thousands of resumes when looking for ideal candidates so they will most likely just skim your resume. For this reason, you want to remove the excess clutter and let them see the main points you are trying to convey. Furthermore, you don’t need to include everything noteworthy in your life. Make sure you highlight your biggest achievements, even if it means removing one of your less notable aspects.

Wording is also very important. You want to make your responsibilities appear valuable and unique. In this case, it may be a beneficial to exaggerate a bit. However, be warned, make sure that with your exaggerations, you also fully understand your tasks. You will more likely than not be asked to elaborate on your time spent in the position you claimed to be a part of. If you do not indicate that you fully understand what you stated you were a part of, this will initiate some red flags among your interviewers and hurt you more than it helps you.

Also make sure you let other people check over your work. Even if you have checked over your resume and cover letter several times, there may still be some mistakes that a fresh pair of eyes can pick. Beyond this, your peers provide a wide range of viewpoints that you may have never even considered. You may not always have to take their advice, but it is better to have it as a possible option. Lastly, just let yourself show through. You are a unique and interesting individual. Don’t be afraid to show that off.