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  • An open planner on a desk with the words ‘Interview with dream job @ 4 pm!’ written in red ink on one of the days.

    Interview Tips to Help You Land That Dream Job or Internship

    Faith Van Wyk

    Congratulations, you got an interview!

    Now what?

    For many, interviews are the most nerve-wracking part of the internship or job search. There are steps you can take to prepare for an interview that will help you make a great impression on your interviewer and may ultimately help you land the position!

    Before The Interview:

    1. Research the company. You’ll want to find information like the company’s mission statement, any big projects that the company recently completed and made public, and any recent mentions of the company in the news or in relevant journals. If you go into an interview with this knowledge, you will show your interviewer that you have a genuine interest in working for their company and that you have a high level of professionalism compared to other applicants.
    2. Be ready to dress for the job you want. If you can, try to find out how current employees in the role you are interviewing for dress. You should try to emulate this look during the interview. If this isn’t possible, use your best judgment when deciding between formal business attire and business casual. This can be dependent on the industry you’re looking to go into and the individual company culture. Another important thing is to be sure that you go into the interview well-groomed. In general, you should be clean and free of offensive odors.
    3. Research commonly asked interview questions. There are lots of resources out there with questions that are often asked during interviews. Certain websites may even provide you with example answers. The important thing is to familiarize yourself with the questions that may be asked during your interview and to prepare your own answers. You want to show your interviewer that you would be an asset to the company, so you should take every question that is asked of you as an opportunity to share your relevant skills and experience.

    Tips To Remember:

    • Be conversational! One of the things interviewers will look for is your ability to hold a conversation because they are trying to gauge how well you will be able to communicate with clients, coworkers, and higher-ups.
    • Remember that your interviewer once sat in the same seat you’re in now. Be personable, pleasant, and don’t be afraid to use humor if appropriate!
    • Your body language says just as much about you as your words (if not more!) Make sure you make an appropriate level of eye contact, nod or show other signs of acknowledgment when you are being spoken to and make yourself appear as calm and collected as possible.
    • Bring copies of your resume for yourself and your interviewer! This practice has become somewhat obsolete with advancements in technology, but it’s still a good idea to bring your resume to reference during the interview.

    Finally, don’t be afraid to ask questions! Interviews are meant to help you just as much as they’re meant to help your interviewer decide if you would be a good fit for a certain role. Make sure you ask questions about factors that are important to you, like work-life balance, parental leave, PTO, company culture, etc. If you are looking for a company that values employees having a work-life balance and your interviewer tells you that this is not something the company is concerned about or flat-out refuses to answer, the company may not be a good fit for you.

    Do you have a compelling story or student success tips you’d like to see published on the Pearson Students blog?  If you are a college student and interested in writing for us – click here to pitch your idea and get started! 


  • A spiral notebook open to a page featuring a written outline planning a resume. The word Success written in larger letters at the bottom and circled.

    Writing a Winning Resume

    Faith Van Wyk

    Applying for a summer job? Maybe it’s your first time, or maybe you’ve got lots of work experience to include on your resume. Either way, it can be intimidating trying to decide what to write. After all, your resume is part of your first impression when you apply for a position. Let’s break down the process of crafting a resume into a few steps:

    1. Compare Your Qualities to the Job Listing

    It’s always a good idea to go back and look at the desired skills for a candidate included on the original job listing. For example, if one of the skills on the listing is “good time management skills” and you know that you always adhere to a schedule and always get your work done on time, go ahead and add it to your resume. Make sure that any skills you take from the listing are skills you actually have – don't say you’re proficient in Microsoft Word when you’ve only ever used Google Docs.

    2. Decide What Prior Experience to Include

    This next step can be tricky if you’ve never had a “professional” job before - but don’t worry! You may still have things you can include in this section: babysitting, mowing lawns, being part of a club or organization, volunteer work, and even being part of a sports team can count as experience. As long as you show that you have dedication and you’re reliable, you’re good to go. You can list accomplishments like “babysat for x number of families” or “utilized teamwork and communication to win games” to show that you’ve gained desirable skills from your past experiences.

    If you have had a few jobs before, you don’t need to include all of them on your resume. Only include positions that are relevant to the one you are applying for. Also try not to have repetitive experience on your resume. For example, if you have had 6 retail positions, you don’t need to list all 6 – just pick a few and highlight a different set of skills and accomplishments from each.

    You can (and should!) mention your education on your resume. You can list skills and accomplishments there as well. For example, you may want to mention it on your resume if you had a good GPA or won any awards.

    3. Create Your First Draft

    After you have decided what to include on your resume, you’re ready to start writing! Include a strong introduction or summary statement that tells the reader who you are and what your mission is before they even begin reading about your skills and experience.

    General tips and guidelines for resume writing:

    1. Keep your resume under one page in length.
    2. If you are in college or have graduated from college, you don’t need to include your high school diploma on your resume.
    3. Try to avoid using bold colors unless you are applying for a more creative position. In general, stick to neutral colors.
    4. Make sure that your font is readable. Don’t make your font too big or too small, and don’t use more than two or three different font styles. For most jobs, you’ll also want to make sure that your font style is in print and does not include wacky designs.
    5. When writing about past experiences, write in past-tense. If you are including a job you still have, write about it in the present tense.
    6. Be honest. It’s never a good idea to lie about your skills and experience, especially when they are necessary for the job.

    These tips should help you create a fantastic resume that will increase your chances of landing that job or getting that internship. Having a quality resume is an important document that you will constantly be revising for the rest of your life as you move through your career. Writing an excellent first draft is putting your best foot forward. Happy writing!

    Do you have a compelling story or student success tips you’d like to see published on the Pearson Students blog?  If you are a college student and interested in writing for us – click here to pitch your idea and get started!