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Your CV, Cover Letter, Portfolio and Online Presence are the personal marketing collateral through which you promote yourself in the world of work, apply for internship opportunities, and position yourself for career opportunities. #
We will be looking at each of them to know the purpose they serve and how to make the best use of them in your internship applications. #
Curriculum Vitae (CV) #

The first marketing collateral is your Curriculum Vitae. 

Also known as CV. It is a comprehensive document that provides a detailed summary of your academic background, work experiences, skills, achievements, and qualifications. It serves as a snapshot of your professional journey and is an essential tool for communicating your suitability for a specific internship or job. 

The key to an effective CV is customisation. Unlike a one-size-fits-all document, tailor your CV for each internship application. Emphasise skills and experiences that align with the specific requirements of the position. Use action verbs, quantify your achievements where possible, and keep the content concise and easy to read. Remember, your CV is your marketing collateral, so make sure it presents you as the ideal candidate for the internship opportunity you seek. 

While the terms “CV” and “resume” are sometimes used interchangeably, they have distinct differences. A CV is typically longer and more detailed than a resume, encompassing a broader range of information, including academic achievements, publications, research projects, and more. Resumes, on the other hand, are generally more concise and tailored to the specific job you are applying for.

Cover Letter

The second marketing collateral is your Cover Letter. 

A cover letter is a formal document (or email) that accompanies your CV when you apply for an internship or job. It’s a personalised message directed at the hiring manager or employer, explaining why you are the ideal candidate for the internship and how your skills and experiences align with the organisation’s needs. Cover letters allow you to convey your enthusiasm, showcase your writing and communication skills, and provide insights into your personality and motivation.

Just like your CV, customising your cover letter for each internship application is essential. Tailor your cover letter with the information you have on the organisation to show you will learn and contribute to what they do. Be concise and maintain a professional tone. If you’re sending your application via email, the body of the email itself can serve as the cover letter, with the CV attached.

A well-crafted cover letter, whether in the traditional letter format or as an email, is a powerful tool to convey your passion and suitability for a specific internship opportunity. By following the structure, personalising your message, and highlighting your relevant experiences, you can make a strong impression on potential employers and increase your chances of securing the internship you desire.

A Portfolio

The third marketing collateral is your Cover Letter. 

A portfolio is a carefully curated collection of your best work, designed to showcase your abilities and experiences. In creative and hands-on fields, it acts as a visual resume, providing tangible evidence of your skills and capabilities. 

Whether it’s a collection of design projects, writing samples, photography, or coding projects, your portfolio demonstrates your expertise, creativity, and the quality of your work. It also allows potential employers to assess how well your skills align with the requirements of the internship or job you’re pursuing.

You can also utilise online platforms such as Google Slides, Behance, GitHub, and a  personal website or a blog to showcase your projects with a highlight of your skillset to potential employers or clients. A portfolio is not static; it should evolve as you gain new experiences and skills. Regularly update your portfolio with your latest and most impressive work. 

Online Presence

Finally, your online presence.

Once a prospective employer is impressed with the CV and cover letter, they often like to find out more about the candidate by searching online. An online presence is a collective impression a person or organisation makes online. Your online presence encompasses all the digital footprints you leave on the internet. It includes your professional profiles on social media platforms, professional networking sites like LinkedIn, personal websites or blogs, and any other online content associated with your name. 

Just like you may want to check out someone’s Instagram, LinkedIn or Facebook page to learn more about them. It’s becoming more common for employers and recruiters to check out candidates’ online profiles and activities to learn more about who they are before making a final recruitment decision. Some Applicant Tracking Systems used by employers now have features to extract information from a candidate’s online presence. 

Regularly search for your name on Google to see what you find. Update your online profiles often to reflect your current experiences and accomplishments. Be consistent in your messaging and branding across platforms. Consider getting endorsements or recommendations from mentors, professors, or colleagues on LinkedIn to build credibility. By maintaining a polished and professional online image, you can position yourself for exciting career opportunities. 

Google Docs Editors

A highly recommended free suite of tools is Google Workspace. With Google Docs, you can create or use templates to create your CV and cover letter, and design your portfolio with Google Slides. 

Using Google tools, your documents will be accessible on your current and future digital devices. You can always create duplicates and modify copies of these documents online when applying for different opportunities.

For detailed guides to creating your CV, Cover Letter, Portfolio and work on your Online Presence, make use of the curated videos added to the Course Materials section. Information on online tools to create, review and optimise your CV, cover letter, and portfolio is also available in this section.

This brings us to the end of the first module: The Case for Industry Experience. You have learnt the importance and benefits of getting industry experience through an internship; the different types of internships available,  preparing to find an internship placement, and personal marketing collateral such as CVs, cover letters, portfolio, and online presence.

The next module is: Finding an internship Placement.

Course Materials:

CV: https://youtu.be/PNyY1RZm-SM

Cover Letter: https://youtu.be/jHg0b7Nai6c

Portfolio: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NqBg1MSG5mg&t=127s

Online Presence: https://youtu.be/08M4l1vlm2o
LinkedIn Profile: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=meH__burrrU

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Updated on January 30, 2024