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As November approaches, so do many internship deadlines for the following spring and summer. Most internship applications ask you to have the same things: clips, letters of recommendation, a cover letter, a resume. Here are some tips for getting the most out of your application.

WHEN SELECTING CLIPS…

Don’t pick the “easy” ones that every applicant will have, like a story about a Trump rally. Instead, go for the clips that show you can find a story anywhere. Pick the feature about the local business owner. Pick the news about a new factory opening in town and bringing in jobs. Pick clips that show your ability to tackle a variety of stories while also showing off your talents. But make sure you’re picking your best clips. If you aren’t as good at covering sports as you are news, don’t include the sports. Showcasing your talents in the best light is more important than variety of clips.

WHEN CHOOSING RECOMMENDERS…

Pick someone who knows you and can personally speak to your talents. It doesn’t help to have the principal or dean write your letter of recommendation if they can’t specifically talk about you. A generic plug-and-chug type of letter won’t convey your abilities or tell the application reviewer anything unique about you. Instead, choose someone who is very familiar with your work and can elaborate on the qualities that would make you a good fit for the internship. This is always better than picking someone only for their title.

WHEN WRITING YOUR COVER LETTER…

Check out this post from last year that gives an in depth look at how to write a great cover letter.

WHEN PREPARING YOUR RESUME…

Make sure you are focusing on work relevant to the internship. It is still important to show that you are able to balance having a job, volunteering and classes, but make sure to put the most focus on work that translates to skills you would use in the internship. If you have experience working with your student media or shadowed a professional, be sure to list that and explain what exactly you did. Rather than just seeing a position, reviewers want to know what was required of you on the job.

WHEN SUBMITTING YOUR APPLICATION…

Follow all of the guidelines. A company isn’t going to hire you if you can’t even follow the basic instructions on the application. If it says don’t call, DON’T CALL. If it says a maximum of five clips, stick to five clips. Companies are not going to ask for information they don’t want. There is no need to send extra content.

When it comes to applying for internships, the process can be daunting, but by following these tips and gathering the materials ahead of time, you can meet those deadlines and hopefully secure yourself a few options.