Internly Insights: Applying to Internships

It’s that time of the year again! It’s time to apply for internships! Below are some tips for you future interns on what to do before applying and when you apply.

Yes, now is the time to start your search. Deadlines are coming up fast.

Before You Apply:

  1. Do your research! I’ve probably stressed this a million times before. Do your research about whatever publisher or agency you are applying for. Make sure it is a good fit. Make sure they publish books that you like to read or at least interested in working with. You are doing free labor (while learning something at the same time) – the least you can do is make sure that you enjoy the work that you’ll be doing. The atmosphere of a children’s publisher will definitely be quite different from an adult publisher.
  2. Check out the deadlines way in advance! This means checking up for internships an entire semester before. I knew I wanted a paid spring internship this year. I didn’t want to miss any deadlines because they vary across the board. I checked as early as mid-October for application deadlines to various publishing houses and wrote them on my calendar. You always have to think way ahead when applying for an internship. A deadline for the spring can be as early as January 1st.

When You Apply:

  1. Proofread your resume and cover letter! Typos are bad news. Especially when you want to work in publishing. Make sure your cover letter is addressed to the right people. You don’t want to miss an opportunity just because you didn’t look over your work. This is common sense, but it has to be addressed. :P
  2. Include social media and blogging! I already had my blog as part of my resume. I thought it was relevant to the field of publishing and I thought that it’s good to point out how dedicated I am to children’s literature and reading. It might seem silly to list it in a resume, but it isn’t! I’ve been asked about my blog every time I’ve come in for an interview. Trust me, it helps. Furthermore, if you have a section for Additional Skills, don’t hesitate to put down Social Networking as one of your skills. This was a tip that I learned from attending an internship information session of a Big Publisher.
  3. Do more research! Look up the specific publisher you are applying for. It helps to look at their titles and backlist. I always make sure to pick up at least 3 books from the publisher just so I know firsthand if I like the titles that they represent. Most likely, they will ask you the last few books that you’ve read and it always helps to mention a title that they have published.
  4. Don’t get discouraged! If it is the first time you are applying for an internship and your experience is limited, I would really encourage you to apply to as many as possible. During my initial search for an internship, I applied to 13 different companies – including many magazine publications. I heard back from maybe 2 or 3. I only got an interview from 1, which ended up being my first internship. If you don’t get an internship this semester, hopefully you’ll have a next one…

Good luck on the search, fellow future interns! I wish you the best of luck, and I’ll keep you updated in a few weeks to see how I fared.

Questions? Comments? I’ll address anything you’re wondering about internship-related things all at my next Internly Insights post!


  1. I’m in the process of applying again, too. Lots of stress and definitely lots of research, like you said.

    Good thing is my resume expanded after the last one I had. :)

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