Dressing for Success: A guide to Dressing for Interviews

by Kaelyn Green

A job interview is your big moment to impress employers and like any important event in your life, you want to look your absolute best on the big day. So,there are some important dos’ and don’ts to looking professional, yet memorable.

Research, Research, Research! Dress codes vary among different industries and organizations and it is important to dress for your specific interview. See if the company is more laid back or more formal in dress. When researching websites and social media, also give a call to human resources and ask what they recommend as far as dress code attire. You want to appear professional and show that you fit in with the company.

Do NOT wear the rainbow. You’ll want to pay attention to the colors that you choose to wear. It’s better to stick with subtle colors; for instance, navy, brown, and black are always acceptable. It’s probably better to avoid that bright pink and green shirt or any loud patterns, textures, or colors. However, depending on the company, it may be okay to add little pops of color or other small statements pieces to show your personality. Accessories and shoes can make a big difference in an otherwise plain outfit.

Most importantly, bring your confidence! Whatever you choose to wear, wear it confidently with pride. Choose something that makes you feel good and is comfortable. The most successful of CEO’s will tell you that they have a favorite power outfit. Don’t forget that a look that makes you feel confident will make you look confident as well.

For more tips on what to wear to an interview check out some of these links:






Managing Internships during the School Year

By Kaelyn Green

Summer internships have become such a staple on the college bucket list, especially since many majors now require internships and students learn of their value. But internship opportunities are not just confined to the summer! There are many opportunities in the surrounding area during the academic year while at Elon. You may think with classes, extracurricular activities, and a social life, it may be difficult to manage your time with an internship. Not necessarily. Here are some tips for staying on top of things:

  1. Obtain A Daily Planner: The ultimate college staple! We all need one to keep us sane while tracking homework, exams, and events. Well, you can use it to plan your internship hours and assignments, too.. Also, make sure to plan ahead for any extra event hours at your internship! Practicing time management is crucial and a planner will help you stay focused.
  2. Plan Your Class Schedule: A big concern for students when looking into semester internships is balancing their class schedule with their internship. If you know you’re going to have an internship during the semester, consider your classes. Schedule your classes together rather than spreading them throughout the day. Also, perhaps you can schedule classes in the morning, or on days when you’re not an intern. This will help you stay organized and make planning ahead a lot easier.
  3. Create Your Own Opportunity: Can’t find an internship you like near you? If you know of several places in the area that you connect with, reach out to them! Some companies can comply with the internship requirements and construct a program with you. Make sure you do your research on the company and its staff beforehand to ensure the internship meets the school’s guidelines.
  4. Accept Help: Know your limits! It’s very easy to spread yourself too thin and it’s perfectly normal to struggle sometimes. Talk to your supervisor and internship professor when you start to feel the pressure. They can offer advice and work with you to manage your time and workload. Remember, this is a learning experience and it’s okay to accept help from others.
  5. Consider A Virtual Internship: While you can’t earn academic credit for it, this internship can help provide content for your ePortfolio. Virtual internships are internships that can be completed online and have become more popular over the last few years. They are especially common with blogging, social media, marketing and even design. Virtual internships are great because they cut out the commute time and save you that gas money.

Participating in a semester internship has many benefits and if you think that it fits you, then go for it! There are plenty of opportunities and resources that can help you find an internship. Check out the Hot Internships page on the Elon Communications website or contact the Communications Internship office for assistance.


Juggling Multiple Internship Offers?

By Adam (AJ) Roshfeld

Congratulations! You have been offered an internship, by multiple companies… so now what? You’ve spent countless hours scouring the Communications Hotlist, networking, and searching for the perfect internship, but you never thought you would have to TURN DOWN an offer.

It is very important to keep your connections strong and untarnished, so if you do find yourself needing to pull your application from a company, or decline an offer, it is key that you do it in an amicable way. You never know if you are going to cross paths with the organization again, or the people in them.

Always be appreciative, and stress that you are honored that the company selected you. Thank them for taking the time to consider you. Believe it or not, the hiring process is just as tricky on their end as it is for those applying. Be honest. Companies, and the people working for them all understand that the professional world is a competitive one.

Never accept multiple offers. Rescinding on an offer is very poor professional etiquette, and reflects poorly on Elon and your fellow peers. If you need time, ask for an extension. Most companies understand that students apply to many places. Again, be honest and work with them, but be wary that they also need to fill the position, so be considerate of their timeline.

You are in for a world of learning and growing. There is no better way to hone your skills than by being on the front lines doing real world projects. Ask questions, try new things, and always keep an open mind.

You’ll find more specifics here:





Informational Interviews are Very Helpful

By Nicole Ackman

One of the best ways to learn more about internship opportunities and careers is the informational interview with people in those industries. And who better to interview than Elon alumni? You can find them in the Elon Job Network (Mentor’s tab).  Hundreds of alumni have signed on to help you, and welcome the opportunity to talk with you.

The best thing you can do for an informational interview is to prepare well for it. So make sure to have a list of questions ready to ask your interviewee. Here are some great questions you can ask to start a conversation:

1. What does your average day look like? Asking this question can reveal a lot about the actual work and provide insight about the company’s culture. You can also get a great sense of how much variety that job offers.

2. What is most appealing about your job? This is a fairly obvious question, but for a good reason. It’s a great opportunity for your interviewee to tell you the good things about the job and the company.

3. What is your biggest challenge about your job? Knowing the downsides of a job and company is perhaps even more important than knowing the good aspects.

4. Which skills are needed for this internship? The answer to this question lets you know what you need to work on between now and graduation. Your interviewee might say you need to develop skills with a particular software, or just to develop a professional quality, like organization.

5. What is your company looking for in an intern?  One of the only ways to discover the answer to this question is to ask someone who works there. It’s one of those topics that you often cannot find answers to in online research.

6. What advice would you offer someone coming into this field? What advice would you offer for someone applying for this internship? Make sure to pay attention to his or her response and use whatever he or she says.

Don’t forget: If you’re meeting someone for coffee or lunch for an informational interview, you should always offer to pay. Plus, follow up with a thank you note or email afterwards.

For more information on informational interviews and ideas for questions to ask, check out these websites:  How-to-land-and-ace-an-informational-interviewNon-awkward informational interviews

How To Keep In Touch With an Employer After An Internship 

By Simone Jackson

So you’ve successfully finished your internship and your employer tells you to “Keep in touch.” What does “keeping in touch” really mean? How often should you reach out to this employer? What should you contact them about? Here are 5 tips on how to keep in touch with employers, especially as you come close to the organization’s hiring months:

Tip 1: Write a handwritten Thank You note to your employer at the conclusion of the internship.

Email is quick and easy, but nothing comes close to the thoughtfulness of a handwritten note. Thank your employer for offering you the opportunity to intern at their organization and recite something you enjoyed or learned during your time there.

Tip 2: Follow the company and industry leaders on social media to keep in touch with the industry.

It’s not only important to try to keep in touch with your internship employer, but also to stay abreast of the industry. Remain relevant with new technologies and developing trends in order to converse intelligently with an employer and other industry professionals.

Tip 3: Email the employer relevant articles about the industry or client-related materials.

Sending an article that is relevant to the employer’s work shows that you are thinking of the business in a tactful way (and that you’re thinking of them, too!) For example, let’s say you interned for an advertising agency’s new business department. Sending an email to this employer about a recent new business the agency has won shows that you are keeping up with the work they’ve done and congratulating them on the company’s success.

Tip 4: Visit the office, if possible.

Simply, nothing beats face time. People often don’t remember names, but they will remember faces!

Tip 5: Do not bombard the employer with messages.

Touch base with them every few months and more often, if you are communicating with them about a future opportunity with their organization.

Keeping in touch is all about strategically showing an employer that you are up-to-date with what is happening in the industry and are interested in pursuing future opportunities with their organization.

Finding an Internship in the Crowded Media Industry

By David Perell

The media landscape is a competitive one. Large news publications like Time Magazine, the New York Times and USA Today have struggled to adapt to the digital landscape due to legacy business models built for analog distribution systems. The combination of esteemed reputations and cost cutting measures including layoffs make it increasingly difficult for students to find internships.

Fortunately, smaller, resource constrained startups are on the rise. The media world never sleeps. All pieces of a media business require thorough upkeep from the day-to-day grind of journalism to trying to meet ad inventory guarantees. The unwavering grind of media startups is a one-of-a-kind opportunity for proactive internship seekers.

Small media companies do not have the resources to actively recruit interns. As a college student, it is your responsibility to make a connection with the company, stand out as a candidate and prove yourself. Each step requires a significant time commitment that should be justified as an investment in your future.

Step 1: Stand out by maintaining an active and professional Twitter account

Twitter is a hub for journalists, entrepreneurs and professionals in the tech industry. It is the best way to engage directly with C-Level executives, startup founders and respected journalists. Twitter is a place to grow your brand, connect with the companies you seek to impress and identify trends in an industry. Actively engaging with professionals on the service is an unparalleled opportunity for networking and learning.

My advice: Follow journalists, analysts and other college students who share your passions. Do not follow major brands because you will not be able to connect with them directly. Big brands receive thousands of social media mentions per day, most of which are ignored.

Instead of reaching out to brand accounts, focus on connecting with your favorite journalists, social media managers and lower level employees who can advocate for you.

Step 2: Publish on Medium

The community of media and technology professionals publishing on Medium is unprecedented. Medium profiles link directly to a user’s Twitter and Facebook accounts. Medium’s most influential users leverage their existing networks to “go viral” and build their brand on the website. With one viral post, an industry professional reading an industry blog in their free time may discover you.

Additionally, Medium is easier to use than Weebly, WordPress or any other content management system.

Step 3: Establish strong connections with adults

I cannot stress this one enough. Throughout life, you never know whom you will see again and who will prove to be important. The people you will meet on Twitter may someday help you find an internship or a job later in life. The golden rule is to treat new connections like they are your

friends instead of professionals in the industry who can get you an internship. Nobody likes to feel used, but everybody enjoys helping people they care about. Establish a friendship, learn and engage.

These tactics helped me receive two internships. I applied for my internship with Skift after seeing a tweet on my Twitter feed. I replied immediately, interviewed with the company twice over Skype and received an opportunity as their first intern within a week. Today, they are the largest industry intelligence and marketing platform in travel, providing news, information, data and services to all sectors of the world’s largest industry.

I received my second internship by texting a friend who worked at Intent Media as their Director of Global Talent Acquisition & Human Resources. I met Ash while I was traveling to Canada during the summer of 2013. We met at an airport restaurant when he worked for Facebook. We exchanged phone numbers, connected on Facebook and I received a tour of Facebook one month later.

My connection with Ash is one of friendship before networking. Become close friends with any professional you meet and build rapport with them before asking them for help. Most professionals have connections but will only use them when a relationship has been established. Ash is still a very close friend of mine.

Best Practices for Approaching Company Representatives at Job Fairs and Other Networking Events 

By Caroline Morelock

A great way to find information regarding potential internship opportunities is to attend networking events offered on campus throughout the year such as job fairs and alumni panels. However, it can sometimes be nerve wracking to approach company representatives. Below are some tips to hopefully make this process a little easier and to make these networking events work to your advantage.

An enthusiastic introduction

Starting off with a strong introduction can clear the path for a productive conversation to follow between you and the company representative. Greet them with a strong handshake, eye contact, and introduce yourself by clearly stating your name so they remember it.

Engage in conversation

After meeting a company representative, do not just hand her your resume and walk away. Your conversation should be memorable to help you stand out from the other attendees. These types of events are great because they give you the opportunity to show the representative who you are without the stress and formality of an interview setting.

With that being said, remember to research the companies in attendance before the event. This background knowledge about the company will give you insight on how you would fit well within the company’s culture. Once you know more about the company, it can act as a guide for conversation. Talking points can include why you are interested in the company, its most recent accomplishment, and how you would enjoy the work there. You can also prepare questions about the company and its expectations, the representative or the interested position.

Ask for a business card

When closing the conversation, leave them with your resume and ask for their business card. By having their business card this means that you will have their contact information to send a follow-up email thanking them for their time. Following up with the company representative is important because it reinforces your interest in the company and lets them know you look forward to hearing from them.

These few steps can help lead you to finding your perfect internship!

For more information, especially for the shy person: http://career-advice.monster.com/job-search/professional-networking/networking-tips-for-shy-people-hot-jobs/article.aspx http://www.careerealism.com/network-tips-shy/