The days of internships being the icing on the cake that is your resume are long gone. More and more businesses are encouraging students to get internship experience (even for entry-level jobs!). Internships play a critical role in networking and building experience, but the market for internships is so competitive that many students struggle to get into the internships they actually want. Let’s end the confusion and get ahead of the game. Check out these cool intern success stories!
Step One: What Do You Want?
What do you want to do? If you’re at this stage you have an array of options to choose from! Internships will help you learn what do or don’t like! The first step is to look at industries that you would be interested and read up on the companies! Make a list of the companies that peak your interest!
Internships should have something to do with what you’re planning to do for you career, and will thus exploit your skills and interests!
Need some help? Check out these companies that are hiring!
Pro-tip: Wanna travel? Look at internships in cities you want to visit!
Step 2: Prepare for Battle
Okay, maybe not battle…but kind of. For every battle you need a sword A.K.A. your resume. You’ll need a good resume too if you want it to stand out in a pile of papers, so here’s a link on how to make a kick ass resume, and here is a link for creative resume examples on Pinterest. You have about fifteen seconds to capture the attention of a recruiter so get a little creative! Also, try not to let your resume be over a page and make sure easy to read.
Almost done! But don’t forget the cover letter. Cover letters are very very important when it comes to applying to a company! Why do you want to work for this company? Why should they pick you? Who are you? Need some help? Check out this link to help you with writing a personalized cover letter! Make sure you research the company before jumping! Companies are totally full of themselves, so when you write something like:
“I’m a huge football fan and this company was started by Blah and Blah! It hits home because…”
“I like that this company gives back to the community, in fact in 2012 this company gave back to my hometown of…”
Always be well versed in the company’s history.
Step 3: Network and Making Contact
Network and network well, heres a guide to networking intelligently in case you don’t know how.
Best place to start? Ta-Da! You’re career center! Most schools have them and they can help you find internships that have reached out to your school! These will be flooded with other student applicants too though so be careful!
If you or your parents know someone in a company that you’re interested in…it wouldn’t hurt to ask if they’re hiring! Use social media to your advantage and tweet or post a status: “I’m trying to get hired at X, does anyone know anyone I can talk to?”
Once you submit your resume….You gotta call.
Yeah as tedious and lame as it is, you gotta call the company. Apply online, send your resume in, and then call. Calling the company and putting a voice to the resume really makes your name stick out.
Step 4: Do Not Delay
If you have made contact with a company they will ask for your materials which could be anywhere from a portfolio or a resume. Send these in as soon as possible. If you wake too long the company will think you’re lazy or uninterested and find someone who can turn things in on time.
Respond quickly and in an organized fashion!
Step 5: The Follow Up
After you’ve had the interview be sure to call or send a succinct email to remind the employer who you are. What the heck is a succinct email? Check this out! Mention your application and your name. This should be completed a week after your interview or two weeks after you have submitted your application.
Don’t ask when you’ll find out if you got the position, you’ll seem impatient. Just give a simple reminder that you’re very interested in the job!
Remember that the market for internships is very competitive and you won’t always get the one that you wanted. But chin up! Keep trying! You will eventually get a great opportunity!!!