Are you hoping to land the perfect internship that helps get your foot in the door? Well, good news is you're not alone. Throughout high school and college, students feel the immense pressure of landing an internship. Internships give students a way to “test-drive” a particular industry and see if it's a good fit. Not only do internships help students build upon skills, but it is also a great way to gain experience in a particular field. This blog will feature 5 great tips that will help land the perfect internship!
- Triple Check That Resume
A resume is a critical tool during the application phase. Without a strong, clear and well-written resume, most employers will not consider an applicant. Proofread your resume and make sure there are no spelling, style or grammar errors. Hand the resume off to a trusted teacher or friend who will give you constructive critiques.
Also, do not fabricate the truth on a resume. Nothing is more embarrassing than being asked about experiences you never had.
- Submit the Application Before the Deadline
Submitting your application on time should go without saying, but getting the application in before the due date is even better! This gives you a greater chance at getting recognized or potentially accepted sooner. Many job/internship sites require an employer to list a deadline date. But, this does not mean the employer will wait to start looking at all the applications until that date. As applications begin to trickle in, many employers will start to interview the strongest candidates immediately. Waiting until the deadline could decrease your chances of landing an interview.
- Don’t Limit Your Search to Just “Dream” Internships
Most people have an idea of a “dream” internship. For some, it may be working at NASA, Netflix, or a family owned business. It is great to set big goals for yourself, but do not forget to remain flexible and open to other companies too! Not everyone can get that internship at NASA, so have a backup plan. Even if you got denied from your dream internship, look at other companies within the same industry. The company culture may be different, but this will give you great insight on how the industry works.
- Be Realistic With Yourself
Internships may vary from hours, position, location and pay. Be realistic if some of the variables don’t work within your lifestyle. Is having an unpaid internship plausible for you? Will you have to travel far to get there? Can you take public transportation or will you need a car? You're a student first, so are the hours flexible with your studies?
There is a lot to keep in mind when applying. If one of these variables reins true of something you cannot handle, do not take the internship “just because it is something to put on the resume”. You may be miserable later on and could ruin a semester of your time. Remember, you are not a glorified coffee-runner either. If you find yourself buying coffee for the office, you are not gaining appropriate industry knowledge and experience.
- Bring Your “A” Game to the Interview
Interviews can be nerve-racking, but being prepared is the best way to prevent some nerves. Dress your best (this means conservatively) and show up about 15 minutes early. Bring multiple copies of your resume in a padfolio. It is strongly suggested to ask many questions during the interview (or at the end). Prepare a list of questions you have before the interview so you do not blank when it comes time to ask.
There you have it, five ways to help land an internship! Get a jump start on your summer internship and schedule a free consultation with our internship advisor, Colleen.