I am looking for an internship in a child-life program for recreational therapy. I am a senior at the University of Florida and need a 4-month internship to complete my degree. I will be available in January to begin my internship. I have sent resumes out to many hospitals in the Southeast but so far haven’t heard anything. Can you give me any suggestions regarding where else I could look? My preference is to intern in either Miami or the surrounding areas, Atlanta, or Boston.
The Career Doctor responds:
Randi, I guess I’m a little confused why you are having troubles. UF has a great hospital in Shands, so why can’t you do your internship there? Some other questions for you: have you discussed this with your faculty adviser or other professors? They must have some contacts — can they help you out? Now, about those letters — did you write to real people or just to some title?
One of the secrets of writing great cover letters that get you results is writing to a named individual. Rather than writing to the Director of Recreational Therapy, it makes much more sense to contact all the hospitals and get the directors’ name and then address the letter to a named individual rather than just a title.
For hospitals you have not contacted, you might try this tactic if you did not do so in your first round of letters.
The next thing you have to do is get on the phone. For many job-seekers, this is one of the hardest parts of the job search. But I can guarantee you that you will have a lot more options if you start making phone calls than if you sit by your mailbox waiting for the offers. Get on the phone and follow up with all the hospitals you wrote to originally. If you wrote to a named individual, then call him or her directly. If you did not write to a named individual, now is the time to get the name and see if you can fax your credentials so that you do not lose any more time.
Lots more tips and suggestions can be found in Dynamic Cover Letters and Dynamic Cover Letters for New Graduates.
You can also find lots more job-hunting “do’s and don’ts” in this section of Quintessential Careers: Job-Hunting Do’s and Don’ts.