Professional Communication Tips for Micro-Interns

    In any interaction you have with another professional, your communication is going to have a significant impact on how the other person perceives you. This holds true for every stage of the Micro-Internship process. At Parker Dewey, we want to help you shine when applying for and completing Micro-Internships, so we’ve compiled resources to help you make a fantastic, professional impression every step of the way.


    Preparing to Apply

    Believe it or not, you can start making a great impression before you even start applying! One way to do this is by completely filling out your profile, including your personal statement. If you’re not sure what to put in this section, you might consider using the following formula: I am a/an [adjective(s)] with [1-2 skills/experiences/or strengths] seeking [goal on Parker Dewey]

    Below are a few examples of this formula in action:

    • I am an ambitious and tech-savvy psychology major with great writing skills, seeking opportunities to begin building real-world experience.
    • I am an analytical, organized, and proactive economics major with a certificate in data analytics looking to build awareness of potential career paths.
    • I am a hard-working graduate with research skills and experience developing and implementing marketing strategies. I’m interested in applying my skills at a mission-driven organization.

    By making use of this section, you’re not only highlighting your attention to detail, but also taking advantage of an opportunity to share information that can’t be found elsewhere.

    The above demonstrates what your application looks like to an organization.

    Another way you can make a professional impression before even applying is by taking the initiative to reach out to specific companies you’d like to Micro-Intern with. If this is of interest, check out our webinar focused specifically on this topic, and the associated templates


    When Applying

    It’s important to keep in mind that Micro-Internship applications only involve two parts: (1) Your profile, and (2) Your short-answer application responses. Because you only have these two opportunities to make an impression with your application, it is crucial that both are complete, thoughtful, and free from spelling or grammatical errors.

    It’s also important to keep your responses succinct. Unless a prompt specifically requests otherwise, the questions can and should be answered in no more than four sentences. Put yourself in the shoes of the organization who is making the decision and ask yourself, have I given a compelling reason to choose me, and have I given a specific example to support that reason? For example, consider the two below responses to ‘Why should we select you?’ for a social media content calendar project:

    • Response 1: You should select me for this project because I have experience making attention-grabbing social media posts.
    • Response 2: You should select me for this project because I have experience creating attention-grabbing social media posts. As the social media chair for my sorority, I was in charge of the social media campaign for our recent ‘Night in Pink’ fundraiser. I planned a series of posts and videos across 3 different social media channels (TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram) over the course of the month leading up to the event. One of the videos I created got record engagement, and contributed to increased attendance from last year’s event.

    Most professionals would select the second response because not only does it give a reason to select the candidate, but it also gives a specific example to support their reasoning. This makes the company feel confident that the candidate has the skills and experience necessary to do the project. Keep in mind, even if you don’t have a lot of experience yet, you can do this same thing with enthusiasm. If your reason for being selected is because you’re passionate about the field or project, give a specific example of how your passion developed or how you’ve expressed that enthusiasm in the past.

    For more tips related to answering short-answer questions, check out our resource - How to Ace a Short-Answer Application, which also includes examples of successful application responses


    Messaging on the Parker Dewey Platform

    Keep in mind that organizations can only see your profile if you’ve applied to their specific project, and after they’ve reviewed your application, they may decide to message you with follow-up questions. Some companies might even message you to set up an interview to confirm you’re the right fit for the opportunity. When you receive a message on the Parker Dewey platform, you’ll see it appear in the ‘Messages’ tab (see image below). You’ll also receive an email notification letting you know that you’ve received a message.



    A quick but passionate plea - There are few things more heartbreaking to us at Parker Dewey than seeing a Career Launcher who has taken the time to submit a great application, and then misses out on the opportunity because they didn’t see an email in time, or because the email address associated with their account is not one they use anymore. With this in mind, we encourage everyone to please check the email address on your account to make sure that it is one you still have access to, and one that you check regularly!


    When responding to messages on the Parker Dewey platform, you’ll want to be sure to do the following:

    • ALWAYS Respond: Perhaps your availability has changed since you applied for the project and you’re no longer able to do it. Respond to the message and let the company know! Even if this project is no longer of interest to you, not responding can burn bridges and ruin your chances for potential future opportunities with the organization.
    • Respond in a timely manner: It’s best to respond to a message within 24 hours of receiving a message, if not sooner. This is particularly important on Parker Dewey, where organizations are often looking for support regarding time-sensitive projects.
    • Use a professional greeting: This is as simple as starting your message with ‘Hello [name]’ or ‘Dear [Mr./Ms. Name]’. Base the formality of your greeting on the level of formality they used in their initial message. Even if they didn’t use a greeting, still use one yourself, as it shows respect for the person you’re responding to.
    • Keep it concise: Just like your short-answer application responses, responses to messages on the platform should also be kept short, but informative. If the organization asks about your availability for an interview, try to make the scheduling process more efficient by highlighting 3 specific windows of time within the next couple of days when you are available. Remember: Micro-Internship supervisors are located across the country, so make sure you also include your timezone in these messages!
    • Thank them: At the end of your message, always thank the organization for their time, and let them know that you’re looking forward to the next step, whether that’s hearing from them, or an interview.
    Once Selected / Kicking Off Your Micro-Internship

    Once selected for a Micro-Internship, you’ll see the project move to the ‘Selected’ tab of your dashboard, and will receive an email with next steps (see the above plea to make sure you’re using an active email address and checking it regularly). One of those next steps will be reaching out to the supervisor of your Micro-Internship to set up a kick-off meeting and make sure you have everything you need to get started. 

    To make sure you’re ready to reach out with confidence, we have compiled associated resources and professional email templates. While you’re welcome to customize, these templates offer you an opportunity to rest assured that your message will be professional, and well received.

    Take if from recent Micro-Intern Abe Escobar, who ended up landing a full-time role through one of his Micro-Internships:

    “I used email templates from Parker Dewey to reach out and send follow-up emails right away about deliverables, timelines, and expectations. I made adjustments to make it my own, but it was a great guideline to make sure I was on track.”


    During Your Micro-Internship

    During your Micro-Internship, it will be up to you and your supervisor how often you communicate and in what method. Some Micro-Internships involve regular video check-in’s, while others might involve interacting primarily over email. Regardless of which method you and your supervisor decide on, we have templates for meeting agendas and check-in emails to help you make sure that your supervisor is up-to-date on your progress, and to make sure you have everything you need going forward.


    After Your Micro-Internship

    Just because your Micro-Internship is complete, doesn’t mean your professional communication comes to an end! Below are three steps you should take after your Micro-Internship that involve professional communication:

    • Share Your Experience on LinkedIn using our template: While you’re on LinkedIn, don't forget to update your LinkedIn account to include your Micro-Internship experience. We also recommend adding it to your resume and then making sure it’s updated everywhere you have it posted, including Parker Dewey.
    • Ask for a Recommendation on LinkedIn: Asking your Micro-Internship supervisor for a recommendation on LinkedIn allows future prospective employers to see how pleased they were with the quality of your work. This resource highlights how to professionally request the recommendation.
    • Keep in Touch: Now that your Micro-Internship supervisor is part of your network, it's up to you to keep that professional relationship strong.

    These steps, as well as others, can also be found in our Post Micro-Internship Checklist. We highly recommend completing all of the tasks on this list if you’ve recently completed a Micro-Internship!


    If you have questions or suggestions about any of the above resources, we’re always happy to hear from you! You can submit questions via Support, or you can join us at our next Career Launcher FAQ webinar or Student Office Hours Session to ask your questions live. We’re excited to support your success!