I've never applied for a job before—how do I do it? How do I put together a résumé and cover letter? How can I be confident and polished for the interview? What kind of samples should I include in my portfolio?
- First, do some research. Find out what the company is all about. What is its mission statement? Who are its audiences? What kind of industries does it serve? Try to find out as much as you can so you can tailor your application materials to the organization.
- Follow the instructions posted in the job description you find. Provide the application materials the company asks for and resist the temptation to include pieces it doesn't request. Don't inundate the hiring manager or the administrative assistant with phone calls or email. When possible, turn in your material well ahead of deadline to demonstrate your interest in the position.
- Career Services, part of the Academic Discovery Center, offers free workshops and seminars in résumé and cover-letter preparation as well as mock job interviews. To take advantage of these free services, view Career Services' schedule and sign up via the Career Navigator. The Presentation Practice Center may also be able to help you prepare.
- Not sure what to include in a portfolio? First, consult any instructions you may have received from the company to which you’re applying. Look at the work the company produces and see which of your work samples might correlate. Talk to contacts you might have inside the company and with professors for additional ideas. Make sure your work is polished and presented professionally.
- Some students wonder what to do when they receive an offer from one company but are hoping to hear from another. Please recognize that accepting an offer and subsequently rejecting it—for any reason—won’t reflect well on you professionally. If you’ve already indicated that you’ll be interning with a company, employees there are preparing training and getting projects ready for you, and your withdrawing would leave them in a difficult situation. Doing this could also significantly damage the Communication Department’s reputation, as companies see the actions of one person as a reflection of the company (or in this case, department) he or she represents. Accepting and subsequently rejecting an internship or job offer would likely result in that company’s not accepting BYU-Idaho students in the future, which would be a tremendous loss. One safe, professional approach to take is to accept the offer from Company A and treat the position as though it were your only opportunity. If Company B contacts you and offers you a position, thank the representative for the offer but tell him or her that you’ve committed to another company for the semester. Let the representative know you’re keenly interested in working for that organization, and ask whether the company is in a position to defer the internship offer to another semester, specifying when you’d be available to take it. Company B might not be able to do that, but showing your commitment to your current internship provider will likely leave a favorable impression. That would be advantageous if you were to apply for a position with Company B in the future.
Once you've received an offer from an organization, you are ready to apply for academic credit with the university.
“Now is the best time to dream, to make your best guess about what you think you want to be. … The best way to find out whether you’re right is to try it.”—President Henry J. Eyring, Advancement Vice President at BYU-Idaho