Recently, INTERN has being seeing lots of posts on craigslist looking for "interns" that look sort of like this:
"Hard-working, slef-motivated intern wantd for online fashion magazine. U will be writing 20-30 cutting edge fashion articles a day and posting them to ourwebsite. 30 hr/week commitment reqd. This is an entirely work from home internship, prefect for ppl with busy schedules. Unpaid, w/oppurtiny for advancement."
"Nubile—er, reliable intern wanted to assist established author with day-to-day tasks. You will be working from my home office on tasks including mail, word processing and occasional light cleaning. Must have own transportation and BE TOTALLY RELIABLE AND RESPECTFUL. NO BACK-TALK. I offer a letter of recommendation and the possibility of college credit. SCENT-FREE household. Unpaid."
"E-book publisher seeks research intern to conduct online research for business textbooks. 40 hrs/week. You will send us a daily report summarizing your research. This is a telecommuting position. Unpaid."
1. Interns are not moths. They are not attracted to the word "internship" the way moths careen blindly towards light. Placing the word "internship" in a post that otherwise describes slave labor, a pyramid scheme, or some kind of dubious domestic situation will not land you dozens of eager interns knocking down your door.
2. Do not claim you can offer college credit when you cannot. If every Tom, Dick, and Harry who claimed to offer college credit really did, all interns would be post-docs by now.
3. The word "telecommute" or "work from home" is an instant tip-off that you are trying to get free labor with no real benefits for the intern, and/or that you are a dubious individual or start-up with no office space. (see item 1 in this list).
4. INTERNS DO NOT RESPOND WELL TO ALL CAPS.
5. Interns do not like to be insulted. If your internship is unpaid (as most are), do not say "there is sometimes the possibility of a small stipend on completion of 100000 hours of work." If there is a stipend, good. But don't dangle it like some kind of infested carrot in front of an intern's nose.
6. Interns are telepathic.