The Internship Hub application: acceptable vs. exceptional

Once you have submitted your application to the Internship Hub, it is firstly reviewed by one of the Internship Hub Managers as part of an initial shortlisting process.

The applications that are shortlisted are then passed to the employer for them to review and decide who they would like to interview.

Many applications are technically acceptable enough to pass the initial shortlist, however are not necessarily strong to convince the employer to invite you to interview.

Here are our four key tips for making an exceptional application that will not only boost your chances of being interviewed and hired, but will put a smile on our Internship Hub Managers faces!

Research the role and the company thoroughly before starting your application

We all like to feel special and our employers are no exception. That’s why it’s really important to ensure your application is in no way generic. This means putting in the time and effort to really understand what the role involves, and what the organisation does. It also means making sure you use your motivational statement to showcase some of your knowledge and explain why you want to work for that specific organisation. Would you believe, some applications don’t even mention the name of the organisation at all?

Be enthusiastic and genuine

Let’s face it, we’ve all had to feign enthusiasm for things in life before. However, when you are applying for jobs it’s best to be honest about your interests and passions as a genuine application stands out a mile.  

We know your time in precious, so it’s worth thinking about why you’re applying for a role and to tailor your enthusiasm and motivation for the right opportunities – it should definitely be a case of quality over quantity when submitting applications.

Going the extra mile

Just like a professional athlete it’s not about just getting across the finish line, it’s about leaving a trail of dust behind you! While you might feel that the initial application is just the first hurdle, the impression it sets can stand you in good stead to secure first place. You can see what we mean by going the extra mile below.

Leave no room for doubt

While the Internship Hub Team and our employers are all rooting for you, we cannot make any assumptions of give the benefit of the doubt. In order to be fair we have to base all decisions on the information in front of us in the application. This is why it’s important to leave us in no doubt by making sure that you provide strong evidence – especially when addressing the essential criteria.

You must ensure you address each individual criteria in detail and give an example of where you have gained the skill. It is important to write persuasively using dynamic verbs like achieved, initiated, negotiated and focus on what you did as an individual even in a group context.

If this all sounds fair enough, but you’re not sure how to actually put it into practice, here are a couple of examples to show the difference between an acceptable and an exceptional application:

Acceptable motivational statement

I think I would be a good match for the Social Media internship with SMK Ltd because I have good communication skills, team skills and have relevant previous experience in this industry.

I am interested in this role because it will help me to gain industry experience for my future career, and I am potentially considering marketing as a possibly graduate career option.

Exceptional motivational statement

I was really excited to see this role with SMK Ltd advertised via the Internship Hub. SMK appears to be a growing local business within a sector that I am passionate about working in after graduation. I know that SMK’s current strategy is to drive sales using social media and I am driven to help companies do just that and have had previous experience of this while working for Pets 4 U.

I am an excellent match for the role of Social Media Intern as since school I have been gaining social media experience and enhancing my skills. I have also devised social media campaigns and taken an active role in social media while working with the University Guardian. I have received praise for my blog and web content because of my strong written communication skills and high level of attention to detail. I also believe I am well suited to working in a small team environment like the one at SMK as this is something I really enjoyed while working at Pets 4 U and volunteering abroad last summer.

This internship would be an invaluable opportunity for me to continue to enhance my skills and to gain an insight into what it’s like to work in a digital agency.   Given my skill set, experience, and passion for the role I am confident that I could make a positive impact on your business.

Acceptable essential criteria answer

E1: Experience of using social media platforms, preferably for promotional purposes or in a professional setting

I have excellent knowledge of all of the main social media platforms through years of personal use, including writing my own fashion blog on WordPress. I have also been using Facebook in particular for several years in my role as Social Media Officer with the UofG Fashion Society to promote our annual fashion show fundraiser.

Exceptional essential criteria answer

E1: Experience of using social media platforms, preferably for promotional purposes or in a professional setting

For several years I have been building up my experience in social media taking every opportunity I can to develop my skills. In my role as Social Media Officer with the UofG Fashion Society I have developed a marketing strategy to secure sponsors for our annual fashion show event, and then to meet targets for ticket sales and engagement online. To do this I have had to build up a knowledge of our target markets and ensure that the posts and blogs I write are well structured and attractive to look at. In this role I have enjoyed learning about the type of content that people respond to positively and what works best in terms of timing of posts. This has allowed me to contribute to the success of our event, and to increase the membership of the society and online interactions. The channels I have most experience in using are Facebook and Instagram.

On a personal basis, I have also been producing and promoting my own fashion blog for the last 3 years and have over 2,000 followers. I am confident that this experience is directly relevant in the role of Social Media Intern.

We look forward to receiving your exceptional applications soon! If you’d like to access more application support from us, you can visit our online support resource.

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