Wed09172014

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Local author-editor teams with internship expert to produce useful guide


"The Internship Advantage: Get Real-World Job Experience to Launch Your Career" by Dario Bravo and Carol Whiteley (Prentice Hall/Penguin 2005) should interest local residents for two reasons. First, it tells you everything you need to know about taking advantage of internships. Second, co-author Whiteley lives in Los Altos and is a "writing doctor"; she can edit and proof your book.

Bravo, manager of the UCLA Internship Services, may be the world's expert on internships. By teaming with book-pro Whiteley, Bravo produced a well-organized book, easy to browse through for the information you want.

Bravo and Whiteley cover the basics of finding, getting and making good use of an internship, plus insider tips. They tell you how to write resumes and cover letters, give examples, then add the very interesting tip about something new called the Q letter.

The Q (Qualifications) letter is a shorter alternative to the cover letter. It is just coming into use, but career coaches and internship counselors think it may replace the traditional cover letter and maybe even the resume. It's easy to read, to the point and saves time and energy for readers who have to evaluate stacks of applications.

The Q letter succinctly outlines how qualifications fit the position:

"Computer skills - Knowledge of Word, Excel and

PowerPoint.

"Organization skills - Organize and promoted two workshops on preventing.

"Editing skills - Acquired editing skills while interning at Eye on the Environment magazine."

The trend is to work at a series of internships while still in school to explore possible careers and get real-world experience.

"The Internship Advantage" is a must-have tool for college students and perhaps their parents or for anyone seeking a major career change.

Most people know that internships are great for students trying to get a start in their first career; fewer people know that internships are also advantageous for midlife changes.

I was having hot flashes on the first day of my internship at NASA. The internship led to a long and happy career under contract to NASA as a technical writer. In a million years, I would not have been hired without the internship because I had no relevant experience.

Whiteley's "doctoring" is a boon to readers. My pet peeve about locally published books is that they tend to be inadequately edited and proofed. Many otherwise good books are annoying to read because of problems that could have been caught by a good editor. Too often, an author will trust a spouse or friend to edit, without realizing that friends and spouses don't tell us all of our mistakes, even if they are qualified to find them. Professional editing and proofreading ought not to be considered optional.

The book includes a CD with links for finding internships.

"The Internship Advantage" is available at Main Street Cafe & Books, 134 Main St.

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