We're heading into primetime for job and internship applications, so I thought I'd post some links that might help you either find a job or internship, or make that application the best it can be.
This Salon.com post by Katherine Goldstein says everything I could say and much, much more. Read this once you have your cover letter draft done, and then revise accordingly.
Here's Matt Thompson on 10 Ways to make your journalism job application better than everyone else's.
I'm telling first-year students and sophomores to have a strategic plan for that "third semester," aka "summer," in terms of building up to a competitive internship after junior year. To compete for the big ones, you'll need experience and clips at smaller outlets. And, as this useful post from Poynter.org points out, not just "a handful" of clips, but a really large body of work, whether that consists of stories for the Collegian or Amherstwire, or video clips.
When you have a large body of work to choose from, it enables you to be more selective when you're looking for your best five clips to submit with an application. Plus, you're more experienced and skilled at the craft.