Tuesday, March 1, 2011

How to snag an NABJ internship/scholarship

By Benet Wilson aka Twitter.com/@NABJDigital

Dear Students:
As you know, the deadlines for NABJ's internship and scholarship programs is Friday, March 4. Many of you may be in the process of fine-tuning your applications, and I'd like to pass along some advice to ensure that you put your best foot forward to the judges in both programs.
1. Work samples - For print, please make sure you attach the number of samples requested in the application. And make sure you have either a link to a website where the story was printed or you have a clear PDF of the story. It's not enough to send an MS Word file of your stories. For broadcast, use You Tube for your reel. Make sure the reel isn't too long, and is a showcase of your best work. For radio, use a service like Cinch, SoundCloud or AudioBoo to showcase your work.
2. Cover letter - this is the document that sets up who you are and what you want to do. It's also the first impression judges get of you as a person. Use it to show off your talents and highlight your best work. A generic cover letter will NOT do.
3. Resume - Grammar errors and misspellings on a journalism resume are deadly. So look over your resume carefully and have at least one other person look at it too. And don't depend on spell check, because it misses key words. Give details on what you've done in an internship or related job. NABJ member Benet Wilson does FREE resume reviews. Take advantage of it. (benet@aviationqueen.com).
4. References - when submitting references, make sure you give the full name, title, company and contact information. Make sure that you have a mix of professors familiar with your school work and at least one professional reference if you can.
5. Completed application form - Please complete the application. The boxes are there for a reason. You hurt yourself when you omit things like equipment, software and location.
6. Official college transcript - Please, PLEASE get your official transcript. The application asks for this, so an unofficial one just won't work.
7. Website - if you're having the judges link to a personal website, make sure it is ready for viewing. Personal photos should be professional-looking head shots, not personal or casual ones. See resume tips. If you have a Twitter feed or Facebook link on your website, please make sure your feeds are all professional. Potential employers do check.
These programs from NABJ are great opportunities to help you move forward in your careers. So take full advantage of this opportunity and use these tips to put your best foot forward. Good luck to you all!

Benet Wilson
Online Managing Editor-Business Aviation
Aviation Week Group

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