Monday, February 20, 2006

Tips for aspiring interns

Here is a questionnaire Montreal Gazette City Editor Ross Teague filled out for the McGill Tribute, courtesy of Mr. Teague.

Q. What do you look for in an internship applicant?

Enthusiasm, talent, skills, creativity, motivation

Q. What makes a good cover letter?

Short and to the point: tell me who you are, what you can do and why you want to work at the Gazette.

Q. What makes an internship application stand out?

Good cover letter (see above), a small, well-chosen sample of clippings, a track record of work at student papers or freelancing.

Q. What common mistakes do applicants make?

Not knowing anything about the Gazette (or the paper they are applying to), sending too many clippings, putting too much irrelevant material in resumé and/or portfolio, spelling my name wrong in cover letter (sounds like a minor thing, but it happens frequently to me and other editors and if you can't get that right, why would i trust you as a reporter to get anything else right?)

Q. What other advice do you have for students seeking journalism internships?

Be honest and up front. Sell me on who you are - don't sell me someone you think I might hire.