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Today, Phyllis Harbinger returns to The Student Lounge to give advice about how best students can present themselves when they’re applying for internships or entering the workforce.


-School is a time of rapid growth. If possible, refresh your résumé over breaks. This time is also great for polishing projects from the previous term to make them perfect for your résumé or portfolio.

– In addition to keeping an up-to-date paper résumé at all times, a way to stand out is to create a video résumé to send along with applications to firms that might like an Elle Woods vibe.


– Putting your portfolio on a website makes it easy to share and for potential employers to view if you have access to the right resources. FIT provides Adobe Behance for its students, so check with your school for something similar.

-When you’re filling out your portfolio, don’t think of it as actually “filling it out.” Your portfolio should be like a museum of only your best work. When you’re choosing your best work, remember that doesn’t necessarily just mean your most recent projects. Sometimes, even freshman projects can demonstrate proficiency in skills that haven’t come up in newer projects.

-Make sure to ask people you trust and who know your work what to include and exclude. They might see a problem you missed in a project you love or see a gem in a project you discounted.

Cover letters

  • The best cover letters come from a place of real enthusiasm. First, you have to decide where you really want to work and why, so you have something true to bring to the narrative of your letter.
  • Even though you should have a lot to say, ideally, the most readable length for a cover letter is about two paragraphs.

To see what kind of work Phyllis Harbinger does, visit PhyllisHarbinger.com and follow her on Instagram @PhyllisHarbinger. You can also subscribe to her blog to learn about industry trends.

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