Tips for Finding an Internship
As a college student, you spend the school year worried about classes, balancing extracurriculars, working a job, and spending time with family and friends. Come summertime, you may have the chance to apply what you learned in the classroom in an internship.
The internship search process can be hard in general, especially when you find yourself submitting many, many applications resulting in a rejection or no response. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has added an extra layer of stress. Here are some practical tips to help you along in your process to finding an internship!
Make Your Resume Strong
Start the search process on a strong note. Curate your resume by showcasing your relevant experience, skills, and accomplishments. Your resume is a personal advertisement and you want to show that you are the best candidate for the position.
Use Social Media
Social media is crucial for internships for two reasons; employers can look at your previous posts & they can list new job postings on social media sites. Recruiters often look at candidates’ social media. Don’t post anything that you would be embarrassed if your grandma saw or if it was blown up on a billboard. Be smart about what you post. Your social media is a public representation of who you are.
Don’t be afraid to post! Show recruiters your interests, travel experiences, movements that you support, and your closest friends and family. Your social media is a reflection of who you are and can give insight into your personality and interests.
Create profiles on LinkedIn, Handshake, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Many companies post job openings on these social media sites and they offer very easy applications through these sites. Sometimes, all you need is a LinkedIn profile and a resume to apply!
Take the time to research companies and industries that interest you. It is helpful to have an understanding of the field you are applying to so you can understand what you could be doing in a role. The Internet is a great source for finding former interns and well-seasoned experts in a field to hear their take on their job experience.
Many companies also post job openings on their company website, as opposed to a social media site. These openings may only be up for a few days or weeks, so spend time looking out for them! Make a list of your top companies and check their websites often. This will help you stay on top of their offerings.
Take Advantage of Your School’s Resources
Many colleges and universities have great career centers full of professionals willing to help you find an internship. The career center should be up-to-date with changes happening with employers from both the student and the employer side. They can help share relevant information and guide you on how to find internships that fit your interests and goals.
Your career center can also help you with Handshake - a free job posting system that is not available to all students with a .edu email address. On Handshake, you can find hundreds of job postings, meet virtually with an advisor, and read about experiences from former interns.
Visit your career center as soon as you can. The employees in the office will be very willing and excited to help you secure an internship. They are most likely connected to a vast network of your school’s alumnae that would be willing to help, too.
Network, Network, Network!
Let your network know you’re searching for an internship. Reach out to former employers and coworkers and ask for advice and recommendations. They can help connect you with people at other companies that interest you. They might have connections in industries you are interested in, colleagues in need of a hand with their research, or alumni at your favorite companies.
Connect with the faculty of your school that teaches courses that align with your major and interests. They can help connect you with former students, faculty at other schools, or their former employers. Professors are also helpful for finding research experiences or study abroad opportunities that can expand your horizons.
Don’t be afraid to email new connections and ask if they have a few minutes to chat on the phone with you. Ask them questions about their internship search process, their career, their day-to-day life with the company, and talk about any connections you share. People are always willing to help you, especially if you are polite, respectful, and enthusiastic about your interest. Ask questions that allow you to understand the specifics of their role; this will be very helpful in helping you decide what career paths you may want to explore.
Don’t be Dismayed by Rejection
If you get rejected for an internship, don’t let it get you down. Sometimes companies have an automatic robot that reads applications and automatically scans for certain keywords. Rejection is pretty much inevitable, at some point in your career.
Fear of rejection is a big reason people might be afraid of applying to internships. Don’t let this fear keep you from applying to your dream company. Rejection happens, but it has no reason to stop you. You will apply to many internships and get rejected or accepted to some of them. Let the acceptances boost your confidence and use every interview and opportunity as a chance to get better.
A Few Minutes a Day Finds an Internship in Some Way!
Stay alert and on top of your internship search. Dedicate just 15-20 minutes each day to scour social media and job posting sites. By searching every day, you will be alert for new postings and will be sure to never miss a deadline. As you dedicate yourself to this process, you secure an internship in no time.
Make the Most of It
Once you secure an internship, make the most of it! Soak up every moment, learning opportunity, and a networking moment. Your internship experience will provide you with valuable knowledge and skills that will help you in future endeavors.
Good luck with your internship search! Don’t forget to ask questions, network, and apply as often and to as many as you can.
For more tips and advice for how to carry yourself as you inch closer to the professional world, or personal branding strategies, check out the rest of Power Move Marketing's blogs.
Author: Payton Hoffman