Some Tips on Improving Your Application


Image: a fountain pen writing on lined paper. Photo by Aaron Burden

Every day we’re building the movement to end hunger by developing leaders—and we’re encouraged, with every new application cycle for our Zero Hunger Internship, by how many current college students want to be part of that movement.

If you’re thinking of applying for the Zero Hunger Internship take a look at these handy suggestions before you get started. The advice we present here will make your application shine—and almost all of it will come in handy for any other opportunity you find yourself applying to. So dive in—and good luck!

Our Tips for Successful Applications

  • Drafting

    Don't type responses to essay questions directly into an online form: instead, draft your responses in a document that you can edit and save. Read your responses out loud and make edits. Take a break and read your responses with fresh eyes. Next, have someone else read, edit, and give feedback. Once you are satisfied, cut and paste your responses into the online application.

  • Why This Organization?

    Research the organization you are applying to. Use what you find to strategically answer application questions. When appropriate, demonstrate in your responses that you have researched the organization and know its mission. 

  • Why You?

    Use personal stories and experiences to convey your passion and motivation to apply for a position. This can help you demonstrate that you are a good fit for an organization and help you stand out.

  • Questions About Location

    If you are asked about why a city or location appeals to you, don’t mention only the tourist attractions. Consider how taking a position in that location ties into your professional goals, or how the work opportunity is unique.

  • Writing Tests

    If you are asked to analyze or summarize a passage as part of a writing test, make sure you are accurately characterizing the author’s message: do not add information that is not included in the original passage or include your own opinion, unless specifically directed to. Create an outline to organize your thoughts so you cover the main points presented in an article.

  • Proofread Multiple Times

    Proofread your application and resume for grammar and spelling errors: errors on a job application can disqualify an otherwise terrific candidate. The person reviewing your application wants to know that you pay close attention to detail.

  • Grammar

    Write using the active voice and avoid using the passive voice. Communicate your thoughts succinctly and choose your words carefully. You only have so many words to introduce yourself, so make every word count. Avoid long, run-on sentences in favor of multiple shorter sentences. Avoid using clichés.

  • Your Resume

    Make sure your resume is saved as a PDF document to maintain consistent formatting. Give your document an easily recognizable title (e.g. YourLastName_YourFirstName.pdf). Resumes for positions in the United States should never be longer than one page. Include your most relevant experience to the position at hand, but make it fit on a single page.

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