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I am an older college student with extensive professional experience in the audiovisual industry currently seeking summer internships. I would be very interested in working with electrical contractors/electrical contractor suppliers and/or any situation that would demand my mechanical CAD skills, which have greatly increased in the past semester.

However, nothing on my resume says directly that I can be useful in these environments. Moreover, I am not looking for a long-term career in either field - I am far more interested in demonstrating a track record for future employers in the audiovisual field.

How can I market myself to potential employers? In particular, what points should I make in my cover letter?

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    What are you studying? How did you get the AV industry experience? Why are you interested in working with electrical contractors, suppliers, or any other situations that would demand your mechanical CAD skills? They are starting points for you to refine your marketing focus. – stanigator May 3 '12 at 0:10
  • It is the situation like this, when clear and honest objective on the resume does the selling for you! – Dipan Mehta May 3 '12 at 13:17
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One key statement in your specific question is seeking summer internships. When applying for internships, it is typically assumed that the applicant does not have direct experience performing those job functions, as that is usually the primary purpose of an internship: to provide experience performing new job functions/working in new environments.

To "market" yourself for internships which will give you direct experience using skills which have greatly increased through recent coursework, the prospective intern can start by saying just that! Begin by ensuring that education information is specific enough on the resume to show specific advanced coursework in these areas (a bullet point listing course names under your education usually suffices). Then, in the cover letter, spend a good few sentences near the top describing just what you want to do in your internship, and why you are prepared to begin learning "on the job," now that you have completed XYZ coursework.

One additional note specific to your question -- I wouldn't tell any prospective internship sponsors that you're not actually looking for a career in the field in which you wish to intern. More likely than not, they would consider you to be wasting their time spent grooming of potential future employees. Many internships are set up so that the intern has a clear path toward obtaining an actual position with the company after the internship and coursework is over, and thus the company isn't just filling slots when they interview potential interns -- they're making an investment in a potential future employee.

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Create a separate resume. List your primary skills as CAD designer. Do mention your skills as audiovisual experience but dont try to sell yourself on this. Mention that you making a change of career and that you are passionate about working with CAD and looking for a change of career. If this is a summer internship opportunity, mention that in the resume header or in cover letter.

You can only try. I know changing fields can be really tough. But there are always fresh graduate who get a job.

If this is something you are really into, do not wait for their email reply. Pick up the phone and talk to them. If you show them a little bit of personality, that will be a great boost.

Wish you best of luck

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