1) Networking, Networking, Networking!
The communications world is all about networking. Connect with family, friends, or employees you may know in the industry, and do it early. The more people you meet and the more people you talk to, the better chance of having that personal connection and the better chance you will score an interview.
2) Even the littlest experience can help
You need something relevant on your resume! Join a club, write a blog, shadow someone. When you don’t have any previous experience, you need these little things to show that you are making an effort. Of course, an internship is a must as well. For me, my senior year of high school I managed to score a week long internship. This really put me one step ahead of everyone else. When I applied for real internships that next summer, they were amazed by all the little things I had done.
3) Tailor your resume to your employer
Like I mentioned before, you need to build your resume. You need to fill those pages with things RELEVENT to the job you want to land. Saying you were a nanny for 3 summers is not something they care about. Fill your resume with things that will interest them, things that will make them want to interview you.
4) Build a portfolio
A portfolio may come later, probably around your junior or senior year of college. By then, you should have enough writing samples, projects, and more to make a portfolio. No, portfolios aren’t just for art students. They can also be used to show your writing and other skills. Your classes should be able to fill this portfolio with samples that will really impress your employer. Save everything!
5) Know how to write!!!
Just because your major isn’t journalism doesn’t mean you can slack on your writing. Communications is a huge area for good writers. You must know your grammar, MLA and APA style, constructing a press release, news release, and more. Pay attention in these classes, don’t slack. It’s better to know the basics now than having to struggle with them later.
6) Reach out early and make an introduction
Every internship I have landed was because I introduced myself early. You usually cannot even apply to the internship program until about March or April but that doesn’t mean you can’t make a personal connection in advance. Find someone in the company to talk to and introduce yourself. Tell them you will be applying to the program in the Spring. Maybe even see if you can set up an informational call to talk about the program and the company. They will then recognize your name and your persistence when they receive your application later!
7) Tell them what YOU want to learn
If you want to show how eager you are to learn from their company… tell them! Nothing impresses someone more than research on the company, their departments, and what you want to get out of the experience. The employer will know you aren’t just here to add them to your resume, your there to actually learn, work hard, and not only have the program benefit them but also benefit you!