How To Stand Out When Applying For Competitive Internships

how to stand out for competitive internships

More and more companies and employers are looking for job candidates with at least one internship experience on their resume. Internships often make the difference between landing your dream job and continuing to job hunt.

In addition to being a game changer in launching your career, internships provide real life work experience that can help to clarify your passions and career aspirations and refine your work related skills.

As internships are increasing in popularity, so is the competition for many internship programs. Much like applying for any job, taking the time to perfect your internship application and make yourself stand out will be worth the effort when it comes to landing your internship position.

Here are a few tips for creating a stand out internship application!


  1. Do Your Research

Before sending your internship application or scheduling an interview, do some research on the company. Learn about the company’s history, their mission and goals. Any information you are able to bring up in an interview shows that you care enough to do some research and know what you are talking about.

2. Create A POWER PACKED Resume
When drafting your resume, the words you use to describe your experience are just as important as the experience itself. Describe your related experience using power words such as delivered, achieved, and impacted. Check out this list of action verbs to boost your resume.

3. Write An Engaging Cover Letter
Your cover letter is your chance to show off your passion and make a meaningful connection. Write a letter that clearly describes why you are excited for this opportunity and why you believe that you are the best candidate for the position. Do you have any personal experiences with this organization or similar organizations? Use the cover letter to give more detail about what sets you apart from other applicants.

4. Use Your Networking Connections
Employers are more likely to select applicants that come highly endorsed from someone they know. Think about your personal connections…chances are, you know somebody who knows somebody. Ask them to put in a good word for you. With their permission, be sure to mention their name in your application or interview.

5. Collect Quality Reference Letters
Once again, the endorsement of qualified professionals can make you stand out from the crowd. When applying for a competitive internship, it’s a good idea to have 3-4 letters of recommendation from other employers or college professors.

6. Practice Interview
Interviews can be daunting, especially if you’ve never done one. Before your official interview, take some time to prepare. It’s a good idea to prepare answers to common interview questions. If you are a student, reach out to your counselor or career center about setting up mock interview. Practice interviews are a great way to release your nerves and get some good feedback before the official interview.

7. Send A Thank You Card
After attending an interview, write and send a card to your interviewer thanking them for taking the time to consider you for the internship position. This is an excellent way to keep your name in front of their eyes and to show that you are the kind of considerate person they would probably enjoy having as a part of their program.


It’s not easy to land competitive internship spots. These positions are reserved for the individuals who are a cut above the rest. As you prepare to apply for your next internship, consider the tips listed above to make your application stand out from the crowd.