January 25, 2023

[For Students] 5 Most Common Application Mistakes

With the high level of competition for internship and practicum experiences, it may feel like you have to be perfect when submitting your application. The good news is that you can still secure placement even if you’ve made a mistake. The even better news is that we are here to help prevent those mistakes! We […]

With the high level of competition for internship and practicum experiences, it may feel like you have to be perfect when submitting your application.

The good news is that you can still secure placement even if you’ve made a mistake.

The even better news is that we are here to help prevent those mistakes! We want you to be putting your best foot forward.

Here are a few things to remember (please note, all of these tips come from mistakes I have personally seen!):

  1. Keep your contact information consistent. I’ve seen people put different email addresses on their resumes and on the actual application. You want it to be easy to get in touch with you! 
  2. For mailed applications, you must type the application. Many hospitals do not accept handwritten applications. For the new application I don’t know if there is even an option to do handwritten 
  3. Pay attention to spelling and grammar! This application is the first time you will be presenting your written communication skills. While in a professional setting, you will be emailing and communicating through email, charting, writing thank you notes, writing protocols, etc. It is vital that you are able to communicate successfully with the entire healthcare team.
  4. Take note of affiliation requirements! If a hospital requires affiliation, be sure to fill out your school’s information so they know you meet that requirement.
  5. Utilize your space! The last question asks if you want to share anything else. This is a great place to add anything else you want to share about yourself. Many of us feel uncomfortable boasting about our accomplishments but if there is ever a time to do it, it’s now!

Do I capitalize child life?

This is such a common question and honestly something I’ve wondered for several years. In the beginning, I would air on the side of caution and just capitalize everything. “My field is important enough to be capitalized!”, I thought. After doing a little digging, I have found a document that helps outline when you should capitalize child life as well as your degree title.

This is a document from the ACLP outlining how you should be writing when submitting for the Journal of Child Life. So I figure, if it is good enough for the Journal of Child Life, it should be good enough for applications. In short:

Certified Child Life Specialist (capitalized)

  • i.e. you would capitalize Registered Nurse (RN) because it is a formally recognized title and credential

child life (not capitalized)

child life specialist- (not capitalized) 

I often work with students who are concerned about things like paper clips/staples, whether to change one word here and there, or if they have the correct number of spaces on their cover letter formatting. When I see students start to doubt themselves and spiral into overthinking these minute details, I encourage students to pause, and take a deep breath. Then I remind them that any place who does not want to interview you based on the spacing of your cover letter may not be the place you want to be! This process is just as much about you finding a good fit for yourself as it is about the site finding a good fit for their program. 

Basic logistical advice:

  • Follow the directions- it seems simple but I’ve seen so many people not following basic instructions when it comes to the application
  • Just go ahead and remove all staples, paper clips, folders, etc. These things are cumbersome when it comes time to scan in documents or review an application
  • Only include what is listed! I would see this every time. Someone includes their practicum evaluation or an extra reference letter. 
  • In order to keep it simple, I recommend placing everything in the packet in the order it is listed either on their website or on the application. For example, transcripts and eligibility assessments are listed last, so just put them last. 

Some of my tips may seem basic, but this is all from experience and seeing these things happen over and over again. Try and follow instructions, do the best you can do, and let the process work itself out. I like to remind students that you can only control what you do, so let those other uncontrollable aspects go!  (Easier said than done right?)

What does Your Child Life Coach offer?

Up to five essays or two additional documents like a resume/cover letter. The new child life internship common application is a big change. But with the help of our document review service, you can rest assured that your materials are top-notch.

Our coach will provide feedback and guidance on how to make your documents stand out. So if you’re looking to give yourself the best chance at securing an internship, look no further than our document review service.

If you’re feeling lost and uncertain about how to complete your practicum application, Your Child Life Coach service is here to help. This one-hour review session provides personalized guidance and feedback from a professional coach, so you can make sure your application materials are polished and perfect.

Our Internship Application Review service offers tailored feedback on your application materials, so that you can make necessary revisions and increase your chances of being accepted into an internship program. We’ll work with you one-on-one to help you perfect your resume, cover letter, and essay responses – all of which are essential components of any successful application.

Our Mock Interviews are designed to help you get ready for the real thing. We’ll sit down with you and conduct a 10-question interview covering a range of topics. Once the interview is done, we’ll debrief with you and discuss your strengths and areas for improvement. We’ll also send you the question set afterward so that you can continue practicing.

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