The most valuable advice our parents and teachers give us is to embrace our passions and to turn our hobbies into profession. Many of us follow the wisdom “Make your passion into your career so you’ll never work and day in your life” and start chasing the dreams without even a single thought if they will be able to bring home the bacon. Thus, when it comes to the situation when they don’t have money to pay the bill, they often regret on quick fixes they made.
An internship is essential. It provides you with those all-important credits for college. Apart from that, an internship is great for your resume because it allows you to discover the actual things employers look for in applicants. And last but not least, it might provide you with a simple, direct path to your dream job.
Despite the overall importance, not many students know how to get an internship. So, to help here is a useful guide to see you launch your career on the right footing.
How to Find Internships in 2019
Before anything else, it is imperative that you choose the right internship. In that regard, be sure to do the following:
Determine Your Interests and Then Narrow Your Scope
The first thing to do is to pen your goals along with other things you want from an internship. It’s an excellent way of identifying what you wish to gain from it.
Given that you have daily expenses, a paid internship is the best way forward. However, others might prioritize a role that allows them to sharpen particular skills. And still, some people might fancy working at a recognized organization above every other thing.
That said, your choice boils down to adequately comprehending what you want. As such, it is vital that you narrow your focus to avoid the hassle of searching aimlessly.
Learn More about the Industry
You need to know if your industry has too many interns; if organizations are actively looking for interns or getting them selectively; if the selection process is fast or slow; which top companies are looking for interns and for what roles; and if the positions are unpaid or paid.
Comprehending your industry is vital because it provides you with an idea of what to look forward to from the entire process and the internship as well. Taking this extra effort will help you understand what is required of applicants, thereby allowing you to prepare appropriately.
Exploring Your Options as You Search for Internship
After understanding your interests and narrowing your focus, it is time to explore your options. Here is what to do:
Visit the Career Office on Your Campus
For anyone trying to figure out how to go about internships, the career office on campus is the first place to start. You can visit one to know if they can offer any assistance with placements. Often, personnel in these offices help students with issues such as cover letters and resumes. Better yet, they might even give useful advice on how you can boost your chances of landing the perfect internship.
Attend Internship Fairs
You need to be on the lookout for any events on campus or career fairs at nearby locations. This way, you will have an invaluable opportunity to establish valuable connections and learn about any current internship opportunities.
It is essential to dress up and present yourself professionally at these fairs to impress potential talent acquisition managers from participating companies. Also, be sure to carry adequate copies of your resume to take quick advantage of any opportunities you might come across.
How to Prepare Your Resume for Internship Application
After identifying the internship that you want, you have to craft a compelling resume that expresses your interest while also showing your educational qualifications, experience, and skills. Here are some tips to help you create an excellent resume:
Tailor Your Resume and Cover Letter to the Role You Want
If you’re going to apply for positions at two companies, then it makes sense not to send the same application. Most hiring managers are keen and can identify half-hearted applications easily. As such, generic resumes and cover-letters are bound to make no impression on the recruiter. After all, by failing to show that you really need the position, they would not want to waste their time giving you a shot.
You need to be ready to review every application you send out. If necessary, make any tweaks and be sure to highlight the skills you feel are most appropriate to the role you want.
Case in point, if you are an English and Management major, you can demonstrate your verbal prowess when applying for a magazine job. However, if you want a managerial position, your organizational and analytical skills will sell you better.
All that said, the bottom line here is to create and send out only personalized resumes. This way, you will significantly increase your chances of being selected, and better yet, end up with a full-time job. On that note, always be sure to implement strategies intended for helping you turn your internship into a full-time job throughout your placement period.
How to Ask for Any Type of Internship
There are two ways of asking for an internship. Let’s look at each:
Create a Professional Email
Ensure that you have a professional email and do the following:
- Write a specific subject line, e.g., Apple Internship Application: Anne Doe.
- Start your email with a formal greeting.
- Give details on your availability, for instance, the semester as well as the number of hours you can work each week.
- Highlight important extracurricular and academic achievements.
- Close with a thank you note and by providing your contact information.
- Attach relevant documents - your resume, a motivational letter or letters of recommendation.
Make a Phone Call
If you are good at expressing yourself in speech, you might want to give the company a call. Here is some advice on how you can go about the process:
- Conduct a research to demonstrate more interest and knowledge.
- Prepare the perfect pitch that summarizes who you are, your qualifications, and what you can do.
- Have answers in writing to avoid being taken by surprise by questions from the interviewer.
- Make sure to speak to the HR person or internship director. Close the conversation by re-stating that you want an internship.
Boosting Your Chances of Getting an Internship
If you want to increase the chances of you getting a good internship opportunity, you cannot rely on just one application. Just like you wrote several applications for college, you need to apply for several internship openings to land one. Have a second and third option in case the first one doesn’t work out. Send as many applications as you can; the more you apply, the greater your chances of being successful.
Also, make sure you send your applications early so that you maximize your chances of landing the best internship positions. Remember, other eager students are eyeing the opportunities that you are also looking to get; even the poorly paid/non-paid ones. If you want to land an internship at the top of your list, you will have to beat other applicants by applying well in advance.
How to Persevere Before You Get an Internship
Searching for an internship can sometimes be just as grueling as looking for a well-paying job. That’s why you need to be proactive from the word go. If, for example, you are dying to take an internship in a particular organization, but they have not advertised any positions on their site, there is still a chance that they will consider your application. Send your resume expressing your desire to work with them. You never know; your genuine interest may compel them to give you a chance.
Remember to stay optimistic, even when things become hard. You will probably send out many applications and not get a response - but don’t lose hope. There are new opportunities every day, which means more chances for you to land that internship you’ve been hoping for. Keep applying, improve your application as continue learning what different companies are looking for, and soon, you will land a killer internship.
Get in Touch with the Right People to Find Internships
It might be wise to consult someone who has done this before. Maybe your older sister/brother, a friend, or family member had an awesome internship at a company you have your eyes on when they were still in college. Inquire from them about working at the company, how to make your application better, what qualities you need to set you apart from other candidates, and so forth. Talking to people who were successful in getting the opportunities you are aiming for may help you know what skills to put on your resume to improve your candidacy.
You might also want to put particular attention to networking. While your college career office may offer great internship opportunities, some organizations don’t make their openings known to the public. Also known as the hidden job market, the majority of companies don’t post job opportunities online. That’s why networking is vital - you get to hear about these opportunities from other people. Reach out to different people, including friends, neighbors, relatives, and even former professors. You never know who might share an exciting opportunity with you.
How Not to Ruin Your Dream Internship
Finding an internship is pretty hard. So, once you get it, you should be careful not to ruin it. Even if you are not paid, treat the opportunity with just as much importance as if it was a paid one. Show your boss that you are serious about the job by acting professional right from the interview. Start with dressing appropriately. You can find out what is proper or improper dressing by researching the company pre-interview. Always show up to the workplace on time and provide high-quality work.
Interns are often required to be flexible. So, when you are called upon, be ready to work longer, work on days you wouldn’t otherwise prefer and take whatever pay you are given (there isn’t much room for negotiation). An internship is an opportunity to learn and grow career-wise so be patient, give you best and persevere. Remember, you may have to do a lot of non-glamorous tasks. Take it as a test (your employer may be assessing your potential and dedication) and work your way up.
Where to Find Internships That Are Right for You
If you do a simple Google search for internship opportunities, you will find hundreds of thousands of sites that claim to offer these jobs. Some are good while others not so much; you don’t need to spend hours perusing these internship websites. So, here are the best places you should check out for that great internship online:
Communities and Social Networks
- LinkedIn: a great social platform that allows you to not just connect with friends, but potential employers too.
- Indeed.com: has job listings from company career webpages, newspapers and main job boards.
- Facebook: has thousands of internship pages and groups.
- Glassdoor for students: helps students find entry-level jobs and internships.
- College.monster.com: posts internship opportunities and interview tips.
Aggregate Internship Boards
The best internship boards include:
- Internships.com: you can search thousands of internships based on your college major, location, job category, and such.
- InternJobs.com: lists internship and entry-level openings for students.
- SimplyHired.com: provides aggregated job listings together with company background information.
- AbsoluteInternship.com: lists global internship opportunities for post-graduates and adventurous students.
- WayUp.com: offers personalized suggestions for fresh graduates based on skills and qualifications.
Added Value Websites
- InternQueen.com: allows students to search for opportunities based on semester and industry.
- Experience.com: offers advice and resources about internships from experienced college students.
Two best examples include:
- Student Conservation Association: non-profit offering 3 to 12 months paid internship ecology and environment fields.
- Idealist.org: allows students to explore internship opportunities from more than 129,000 non-profits around the world.
Internships while Traveling
Love traveling? Here are some sites to explore:
- GoAbroad.com: lists thousands of international internship opportunities for those wishing to intern at companies in other countries.
- CoolWorks.com: the best place to find internships in national parks, retreat centers, ranches, ski resorts, and other related areas.
- HerCampus.com: ideal for college women searching for internships
- USAJobs.gov: official US government site for students seeking internships and jobs in the government.
- MediaBistro.com: useful for finding internships in media
To conclude, remember that you must put effort to get a good internship; network, apply for several opportunities, know the companies you are applying to, and work hard when you get it.
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