Happy National Intern Day! Regardless of what your major is or what company you’re applying to, figuring out how to nail internship applications is challenging (to say the least).
Luckily, our recruiters at The Aerospace Corporation have given us their top tips on acing those Aerospace internship applications.
The most important part of your application
Believe it or not, there is one thing that all Aerospace recruiters believe can make or break your application: your resume.
Aerospace recruiters view between 80 to 100 applications daily, so only seconds are spent looking at a resume before moving on to the next.
“I’m typically looking at a resume for maybe—I know this sounds scary—maybe 30 seconds,” Chelsea Johnson, a University Relations recruiter said. “You’re not looking at them very long.”
Writing your resume with an easy layout can make a world of difference in the application process.
Cheryl Batleman, lead recruiter for University Relations, prefers resumes that read from top to bottom and left to right, as it helps her to learn more about the candidate faster.
The layout, however, is just the framework; the foundation is the content of your resume.
“What a lot of students tend to do is look online for how to put a resume together,” Cheryl said. “They’re going to put down their school and their skills and their work experience because everyone wants to see your work experience. But if your work experience has nothing to do with the job, has nothing to do with why you’re going to school, then it’s not going to make a very good first impression for anyone.”
Chelsea and Cheryl both emphasize adding any technical skills, academic research, and specialized projects to your resume. They’re key to showing interest in the position!
Do I really need to answer optional questions and add supplemental materials?
Long story short: it doesn’t hurt!
While it does take a few extra minutes (or hours!) to answer optional questions, hiring managers and recruiters do read them.
“Hiring managers actually read the questionnaire results,” Cheryl said. “Because for them, it really emphasizes a student’s reason for wanting to apply here, why they are so excited about space, and what it would mean to work here.”
Cover letters are also optional on applications; however, they are read by recruiters to find out more about you outside of your resume. The key is to tailor it to the position you’re applying to and to make it easy to understand.
If you’re wondering if you should submit your cover letter, Cheryl’s rule of thumb is to leverage it wisely. If you think something in your application needs to be explained — if you have a lower GPA, gaps in your work history, or even a specialized area of study — cover letters are a great place to explain it all.
Angela Couture, Director of University Relations, encourages applicants to go the extra mile and use cover letters to showcase their full range of abilities.
“Showcase your technical and problem-solving abilities,” Angela said. “Aerospace projects often require creative problem-solving skills. Highlight situations where you identified a challenge and developed innovative solutions.”
Other supplemental materials can include LinkedIn profiles and portfolios. While recruiters may not check LinkedIn profiles for every applicant, when they do they want to see an updated profile with your accomplishments and experience listed clearly.
Biggest application mistakes
The recruiters read more than eighty applications daily — needless to say, they’ve encountered a few mistakes.
The most common mistake Cheryl sees is applicants not tailoring their resume to the position they’re applying to.
On the other hand, Chelsea has noticed that some applicants list outdated, or misspelled contact information on their resumes. While it is a minor mistake, it can prevent you from moving forward in the application process.
Making your application stand out
Submitting a clear, updated resume is the best way to capture a recruiter’s attention, but they also appreciate seeing the humanity in their applicants.
It’s important for Lori Ramsey of University Relations to see that applicants value more than just academics in their application.
“Research our company to better understand our commitment to mission success for our customers and to providing a collaborative and inclusive work environment for all employees,” Lori said. “What does that mean? We are committed to core values. Academic excellence is not enough. Integrity, inclusivity, and the ability to collaborate with colleagues as you work with customers are equal in value.”
Carah Fukumoto, University Relations program lead, takes Lori’s suggestion one step further.
“The people you meet through the application and interview processes may be a new resource for you,” Carah said. “You never know how or when you will need to use your networks in the future. Personally, I have found that candidates who are respectful in their communication and are intentional about connecting and asking questions create more lasting relationships with our team.”
Regardless of what position you’re applying to, Angela has one big tip for any applicant interested in applying to Aerospace.
“Be authentic, passionate, and confident in your skills,” Angela said. “Don’t give up if you aren’t selected for an internship immediately. Be persistent, watch for other opportunities, and build connections with our employees through LinkedIn or other professional networks.”
Internship applications for the next Aerospace cohort open in late August. Good luck applying! We hope to see you at Aerospace next summer! :)
About the Intern
Hi, I’m Brooke Bell! I’m the strategic communications intern at The Aerospace Corporation for Summer 2023. Outside of being an #aerointern, I’m also a senior mass communications major at Louisiana State University. Joining Aerospace has been a wild, exciting, and rewarding experience. I’m sharing all the details about applications and the internship experience this summer on Medium!
To learn more about the internship program and Aerospace, follow us on Instagram.