If you’re a college student and thinking about a summer internship, the time to start searching is now!
If you’re in college and thinking that a summer internship is the key to getting your foot in the door at one of your hopeful employers right out of school, then you’re right. However, the competition for internships are wildly competitive, but the good news is that there are a lot of things you can do to increase your chances of landing that internship.
1. Polish up Your Application
The most important tip of all, you need to have a clean and clear resume. Have a peer proofread your resume for any spelling errors and don't ever trust the built-in spell checker on your computer.
In addition to making sure that your resume is error-free, make sure that you’re including the information that employers frequently want to know about and place that information toward the top of the document. You should describe all relevant experience you have in the industry that you’re applying for.
When creating a resume as a college student, you need to emphasize not only your work history but also your college education. You can also demonstrate your skills and abilities by including volunteer work and other extracurricular activities.
2. Create a Master List
This one is the easiest. Think of every company you’d love to work for after graduation and create a master list. Once you have your list compiled, check their websites to see if they have any internships posted.
Consider a few different industries to diversify your list. Don’t be afraid to set the bar high and list some of your favorite companies regardless of size and location that you think it would be fun to work at.
3. Network, Network, Network!
This is the biggest piece of advice that anyone can give you! Start scheduling chats and coffee meetings with people you know and ask them every question you might have about the companies you want to work for. Ask about their job, what their day to day is like, how they got into that field, and what steps they think you should take. You will be amazed what you connections some people have to companies you never would have guessed.
Your friends are also a huge networking gold mine! A lot of people don’t consider chatting with their friends as “networking” but it very much is. If you know someone who had an amazing internship last summer, reach out and try to setup a chat.
4. Apply Early
This should go without saying, but you should find out when the deadline to submit an application is, and then make sure that you get it in on time. Don’t procrastinate on this one, give yourself the best chance possible to making sure your resume is viewed early.
5. A-Game Interview
The interview is just as important as your resume. It’s the final step between you and landing that internship. It should also go without saying that you should be presentable and timely/early when going to your interview. You should also consider asking a few questions, but don’t ask too many. Two questions is a good goal to target.
Consider asking about the company's strategy, what the employer expects from the interns. Ask about your interviewer’s career path the company and how they got to be where they are.
6. Follow Up
Don’t just leave and hope for the best after the interview. It means doing whatever it takes to influence the outcome and get the offer without being annoying and looking desperate. Send them an email that focuses on areas they said they need help with, brings up selling points that you forgot to bring up or didn’t emphasize enough and be sincere about the opportunity to be considered for the internship.
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