I’m hiring college students for several internships right now, which means that the candidates are a mix of really impressive/prepared and really … not. Lessons from just this past week:
1. Don’t send poetry as your writing sample. It doesn’t matter how good it is; it’s not relevant to the kind of writing I need to see. It’s just one step removed from sending me an audio file of you playing the piano as your writing sample.
2. When you answer the phone and sound surprised to hear from me, which prompts me to ask if you were expecting my call (which was pre-scheduled), don’t say, “I just forgot that it was Thursday.”
3. Don’t tell me when I call for our phone interview (again, pre-scheduled) that you haven’t looked at the job description since you applied and thus can’t remember much about the job.
4. Don’t respond to an email asking if you’re free for a phone interview at 2:00 Wednesday with an email saying “Yes, anytime Thursday is good for me.”
5. Don’t include in your cover letter a link to your blog about your chronic masturbation habit. (Okay, that one was old but I needed a fifth and it’s an all-time best.)