When I was looking for internships, this was perhaps one of the most searched questions I did! As a student living in New York City, I majored in the business of the entertainment industry. What was the most frustrating about my search to get an entertainment internship was my circumstances. It was really tough and really hard to not only get an interview but also get the offer. I have now realized that everybody’s journey is different, and what is meant for you will be meant for you. You will never be able to read people’s minds or understand why they chose or didn’t choose you.
That being said, this is what I have learned about getting an entertainment internship once you’ve found some postings to apply for!
Have a Strong Resume
The resume is super super important when trying to get an entertainment internship. When searching, I noticed that a lot of websites on this issue said that you need a creative resume to stand out. This is not always the case! In fact, I tried two approaches. The normal black and white boring format resume, and the creative pretty format resume. I actually got more attention from the boring one. Who knew? I spoke to an intern recruiter at a huge media company and I asked her what she looks for in a resume. She told me little white space and clear readability. I would like to add clear and consistent formatting as well, with a few buzz words.
Some buzz words to consider:
- Wrote copy
- Collaborated with
- Analyzed trends
- Developed digital content
- Managed or maintained
Also, make sure your resume is one page. The HR contact needs to be able to easily scan it, so making sure your resume is readable is very important.
The Art of the Cover Letter
Cover letters suck! I hate them, but they are so so important. This is your time to really elaborate on your resume. Take this time to talk in depth about all the skills and experiences you’ve done. However, please don’t replicate your resume word for word. Continue using the buzzwords, but keep your overall cover letter down to 250 words. This is so important because recruiters are essentially going to skim over your resume, and the look of it should definitely be professional. Additionally, I’ve seen articles about alternatives for cover letters that include subheadings. These are all well and good, but when in doubt, I would just opt for the old school format. I’ve tried alternative cover letters and received good responses, but this has been for smaller companies. Bigger companies tend to skew towards the old school format.
I had so many people telling me that I couldn’t get an internship at a big company. My tip? Don’t listen to them, even if it is your own family. Keep being persistent, keep trying, reach out to any and all contacts you had. I reached out to my acquaintances, classmates, my teachers. Ask your advisor for help. If you have an internship database at your school, use that. Use any and every resource until you have nothing else left. Never give up, because your dreams are worth it. I cannot stress enough that when people are telling you to settle for anything less than what you want, do not listen to them. Trust that everything will work out because the right opportunity does come along when you listen to your heart.
Nail The Interview
Come prepared. Come professional. Come like a boss. This is essential for getting an entertainment internship. I don’t think it is unprofessional to bring a notebook and pen to take notes. We can’t remember everything, especially when we’re nervous and excited. So don’t forget to take notes, and don’t forget to have 3 to 5 questions prepared for the end of the interview. This is so important! When they ask if you have questions, use this opportunity to ask everything that interests you about the position.
Here are some sample questions:
- What is the typical day like?
- What hands on opportunities will I get to be involved with?
- What is the office environment like?
- Do employee or intern opinions matter in this environment?
- What are the best parts of this internship?
- What makes a successful intern in this department?
- What are some things former interns have done that really stood out to you?
- Do you have any more questions for me?
One thing I like to do is brag a bit when asking questions. For example, I would say something like, “I’m a self-starter so I like to be challenged. What are some challenges that an intern may face here and how did they overcome them?” This makes you look good and you get some insight on how you can be successful if you are hired.
#1 Rule to Getting An Entertainment Internship: Follow Up
Follow up. Follow up. Follow up. Always follow up with the interviewer. Thank them for their time. Maybe reiterate that you’re excited about the opportunity (if you are). Enforce that you want to work with them. If you haven’t heard anything after a week and a half to two weeks, definitely follow up asking about the status of the hiring process.
Another way to get an entertainment internship is to do informational interviews. Boy am I skilled in those!
What Are Your Thoughts?
Let me know in the comments if any of these tips are helpful to you! Also, share any tips you have that could help someone else!
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