We've recently put out a call for interns, and because I have some human resources experience, our executive producer asked me to look through the cover letters and resumes and thin the herd. Here are some tips for those of you looking for internships this summer.
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1. Run a spell check on everything. Going over your resume with a fine tooth comb won't help if you don't also spell check the email you send along with it, and rest assured that misspelling "television" in an email looking for a television production internship is a disqualifier.
2. Don't just spell check, actually read your letter. One poor bastard said it would be an "exiting" opportunity to meet and discuss an internship. The only thing that was exiting was the guy's resume and letter, which exited later that day in the trash.
3. Get a professional email address. I'm not going to write the actual email address one guy listed, but it was something like "SupaKewl696969(at)whatever.com" We wanted to bring this one in just to see what he looked like.
4. Tone down your earnestness. One girl wrote something like "My love of cinema is reaffirmed every time I gaze through the lens of a camera." That's great, honey, but this is a business. We don't sit around wearing berets and turtlenecks, sipping red wine and discussing film. We produce as much as possible in the shortest possible time so we can get our bonus at the end of the year.
5. Actually print out your resume. I'm pretty certain that a bunch of these kids did their resumes on some campus computer system, not realizing that by listing every job they've ever had, they were making their resumes much too long. No fucking way a junior in college should submit a two page resume. Print it out and see how long it is, and then cut any job that involved selling people food or clothing.
6. If it says don't call, don't call. This isn't really a resume/cover letter tip, but it's important. The executive producer I work for accomplishes more work in a day than I've done in the 13 years since I graduated from college. It makes me tired just thinking about it. So she didn't want to get any phone calls from potential interns, and especially not 3 phone calls from the same intern making sure her resume was received.
7. Be attractive. Again, not really a resume tip, but studies say this helps, and I'm here to tell you that it's true. The pinhead that called 3 times actually had a good resume, so they brought her in for an interview. Holy fucking shit was she hot! You know when guys talk about the "naughty librarian" look? This girl had it. In addition, she was wearing these black stiletto high heel shoes that were so sexy that I discovered a heretofore unknown shoe fetish. I don't know if they're going to hire her, but if they ask me I'm going to say I think she seemed pretty smart.
Ok, I've gotten off track, so let's recap and finish this up. Spell check, print out and read your resume and letter, use a professional email address, add some cynicism, follow instructions, and try to sex yourself up a little. Good luck.