Skills to Exhibit in Your Search: Communication & Problem-Solving


Photo by karindalziel

I seem to be experiencing a mild case of writer’s block today. I’m racking my brain trying to think of an internship search topic to write about, but I’m drawing a blank. So, I’ve decided to write about writing – internship search-related writing. Written communication is a part of most any internship search and includes cover letters, resumes, thank you notes, and emails. And what better topic to write about when I can’t think of what to write about than writing itself!

Since strong communication skills are sought by all employers, highlight them using these internship search communication tips:

  1. Errors in grammar and spelling are big no-nos for any written internship search correspondence. It’s always a good idea to have several people proof-read your cover letters and your resume before you send them. Even if you are a grammar master, you might have missed something. Better to be safe than sorry.
  2. Do you know how to structure a cover letter? A key to writing a solid cover letter is understanding the purpose of it – it’s to make the employer want to read your resume. Keep this principle in mind in order to craft a focused letter.
  3. Be mindful when using email to communicate with employers. Since email is just words, you’re only working with about 7% of your information communication potential. Written messages that go beyond mere facts and data into more sensitive issues can easily be misinterpreted.
  4. On the topic of email, remember that emailing a potential employer is not the same as sending a text message to your friend. It’s a bad idea to use text-speak when composing your email message. You could come across as lazy or just a poor communicator. Instead, model professional email etiquette.
  5. Thank you notes are important to your internship search. Write a thank you letter after any occassion for which you want to express thanks, especially after interviews or after a professional contact has been especially helpful. While you might think that everybody does this, it’s not usually the case. Be the candidate to follow-up with a well-written thank you.

Five internship search communication tips is all I can think of today. Now that my busy faculty/staff orientation week is over, I hope my thoughts will be flowing better for my next post. Luckily, my writer’s block still provided me with some inspiration for what to write about. You know, one of the top skills employers look for is problem-solving. Looks like my writer’s block helped me highlight two important concepts. Not bad for a day’s work.


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