If you’re a student of creative writing, journalism, literature, or marketing, you may be considering a future career in writing. While it’s true that writing careers can be very rewarding, it’s also a fairly competitive job market. The best way to make sure that you can land your dream job as a writer is to start building your experience now.
There are many internships out there suitable for college students. Some of these are paid, others are unpaid. Either way, they allow you to gain valuable experience and build skills that will prove invaluable when it comes to your future career. With that in mind, here are 5 tips to help you land a college writing internship.
1. Create an amazing resume and cover letter
For most jobs, a resume is just a place to list your skills for your employer’s to browse through. For writers, however, it’s more important. This is because it’s essentially the first sample your potential employer will actually see of your writing. They’ll not only be looking at the skills, qualifications, education, and experiences listed on your resume but at how well-written it is.
You can’t afford any typos or grammatical errors. You want to come across as someone who is capable of performing professional writing work. Showcase your skills and write a cover letter with a distinctive voice.
Obviously, you’ll also want to make sure that the content of your resume is equally good. By that, I mean you have to list the kind of skills experiences your employer will want to see, which brings us nicely onto tip number 2.
2. Start a blog
If you’re looking into an internship, the chances are that you don’t yet have any paid employment history in the industry. Nonetheless, to land an internship, your employer is still going to want to see that you have some experience, which means you’re going to have to have some samples to show them.
The best way to get writing experience without a writing job is to simply write samples yourself. One way you can do that is by starting a blog. Start your own free blogging website and get into the habit of posting regular articles. Take the time to make sure your articles evidence your writing ability and showcase your distinctive voice. Try to represent the style and tone you want to be associated with in your writing career in every blog post.
3. Pick a writing niche
There are lots of different kinds of writing jobs out there. Before you even begin applying for internships, you should try to clarify exactly what kind of route you want to go down.
For example, are you hoping to be a journalist in your future career? Are you looking to break into the marketing field and work as a content writer? Or perhaps you want to work in the arts as a script/screenwriter, or even a novelist?
It’s no good applying for a writing internship at a newspaper with only fictional short stories to show them. Once you’re clear on what industry you want to work in, you can tailor both your application and your writing samples to that specific industry.
4. Consider cold emailing
Many students will limit their hunt for internships to those that they see advertised. This can work, as many employers will indeed advertise these positions at college employment fairs and on job boards.
However, many won’t. There are lots of potential employers out there who may be willing to give you an internship but who haven’t bothered to advertise their vacancies. A great way to land a job is to reach out to these kinds of people.
The way you can go about this is to first identify potential employers in your specific writing niche. For example, if you’re hoping to become a content writer in the tech industry, look for some online tech websites that have a bunch of contributing authors. Next, you can find their contact details and email them asking if they have any writing internships available.
You’ll find that many of these kinds of employers will jump at the opportunity, especially if you’re willing to go unpaid.