When you start sending out your resume and references to apply for internships or jobs, follow-up on the information you send. One of the things that people too often put in their cover letter is a statement such as "I look forward to hearing from you" or "I hope to hear from you soon." Hope is an important thing to have, but not when you're looking for a job, especially in this economic market. You need to be proactive and take control of your job search. Instead of one of those statements, write something more along the lines of "I will call you to follow-up next week." After you do that, though, you have to actually follow-up. Don't be shy about putting this statement. It's awkward at first when you start making those follow-up phone calls. It can seem like you're bugging someone, but the hiring manager is looking for good people who are proactive. When you call, you can simply state that you're calling to make sure they got your resume, let them know that you're very interested in the position, and ask if they've set dates for their interview schedule. It's important to become comfortable with this and do it. Here's a true story of an example of why it's important.
I was meeting with one of the managers at a local minor league baseball team this week and we were talking about his subject. He had an interesting story to relate. He was coaching basketball at a mid-major university a couple of years ago and one of the assistant coaches left. They received 65 resume packets from coaches wanting to fill the empty position. Some of them, he said, were really intricately created packets with video, details of their accomplishments, etc. Of those 65, only 3 of them followed-up with the head coach after they sent their resume. The only people the coach interviewed were the three who followed-up with him because they expressed a true interest and desire in the job.