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January's SCiP newsletter has tips about resumes and cover letters, and profiles three new SCiP internships

10 Things You Need to Know About Resumes and Cover Letters

by Jonnee-Mae Pedersen

Applying for internships can be a stressful, tiring, and nerve-racking experience. However, successfully landing an internship is a great way to earn extra money, gain experience, and help beef up your resume. With nearly 3,700 students signed up for SCiP, it is important to have a strong resume and cover letter to help you stand out from other candidates.
 
In general, it’s best to apply early and often. Don’t wait until the deadline to apply for an internship - it can leave you scrambling to tailor your resume and cover letter for the position.
 
We know, you’ve heard it before - grammar, grammar, grammar! Spelling errors can lead to embarrassing situations, which can show incompetence or the inability to pay attention to detail. Avoid spelling errors and improper punctuation by having a second pair of eyes look at your application before sending it. Use a consistent font style and size for both documents, and never use a font smaller than size 11.
 
Applying these elements to your resume and cover letter will help you create a clean and professional looking document, helping you stand out from other candidates.

5 Steps to a Successful Cover Letter

1.      Identify and relate your experience to the position you’re applying for
Identify the position you are applying for within the first couple of sentences. Demonstrate how your previous experience will benefit the organization and help you contribute to the position to which you are applying.
 
2.      Research and understand the organization
Demonstrating an understanding of the organization allows you to show how your interests and abilities align with the company’s mission and values. It shows initiative, and that you are truly interested in that organization and their mission, as opposed to just any opportunity.
 
3.      Identify the hiring manager
If no name is given on the job posting, do some digging and look on the company website or call the organization to find out who is responsible for hiring employees and interns. Having the hiring manager’s name demonstrates a higher attention to detail and a sincere interest in the position.
 
4.      Effectively communicate what skills you have to offer
To create impressive examples to show that you can do the job, try out the S.T.A.R formula. STAR stands for situation, task, action, and result. In each example remember to demonstrate the situation or environment you were working in and the task you were given to accomplish. Finish with the action you took to complete the task and what was the result of your efforts.
 
5.      Write a tailored resume and cover letter every time you apply for an internship
Employers know when you are sending a generic resume and cover letter to them. Make sure to tailor your experiences to the specific skill sets the organization is looking for.

Get Set for Resume Success

1.      Identify a resume layout
There is no “right” layout when developing a resume – you can find various templates on the internet and at career services centers. No matter what layout you use, it is important for your resume to be visually appealing and consistent. Ensure your resume is legible, has large margins, and proper spacing. Clean breaks between sections, increased header size and lines show a clear distinction between categories.
 
2.      Have a strong objective
Identify the position you are applying for and with whom. Avoid generic phrases. If you can, indicate in one sentence how this position feeds into your larger goals.
 
3.      Order your work and volunteer experience chronologically
Place your experience in chronological order to avoid confusion and highlight your most recent skills. Consider placing your volunteer experience before work experience if it is more relevant to the position you are applying for.
 
4.      Ensure your contact information is easy to find
Place your name and contact information at the top of your resume in a large font to ensure it is easy to find.
 
5.      De-clutter your resume and ensure it is visually appealing
Have the most relevant and important information tailored to the internship position on your resume. Pick your top two or three most recent and relevant volunteer or work experiences from the variety of experience you have. 
Always looking for the next big news story? How does interviewing people and writing bi-monthly newsletters for the Alberta Chinese Canadian Friendship Association sound? As the newsletter coordinator, you will be responsible for writing and editing articles and photos. Communicate between schools, communities and associations, and ensure a great newsletter is sent out every month. Apply today!
Do you have an eye for design? The Ortona Gymnastics Club is looking for a creative graphic designer to help develop promotional materials for their organization. As an intern, you will create newspaper advertisements, visual display ads and much more! Use InDesign and Photoshop from anywhere in Alberta, and help the Ortona Gymnatistics Club get the attention it deserves. Apply now and get designing today!
Are you passionate about helping kids in need? Become a Fund Development intern for Amazing Kids and help to create a fundraising plan for the organization. As the Fund Development intern you will be responsible for the researching of potential funding sources, collecting the necessary documents, and putting together a timeline of application deadlines. Apply now!
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