Looking for an internship is very different from looking for a job. The requirements of both these positions are different and hence the search process is entirely different. A focused search, based on the duration, company, and industry, is how you can land your dream internship.
Leadership, motivation, and experience or the willingness to learn are the cornerstones of a company’s expectations of their interns. While applying, keep these things in mind while writing an email, crafting your resume according to the position, or writing a cover letter for the same. Is this your first time applying for an internship?
The World Wide Web will be your savior. There are numerous websites that will list companies where students can apply for internships. Websites dedicated specifically to each field are also super helpful since they help you do a more focused search. Thinking about taking a different path and applying for internships in another country? Google will be your friend on that one.
Before you embark on the great internship application journey, make sure you have a resume that is grammatically correct and error free. Get your friends or family to proofread it for you before you start sending out. Nothing makes a bad first impression like a misspelled word in your resume. As someone still in college or straight out of college, you might not have much experience to talk about, but make the best of what you have and let it shine on paper.
Have you already finished an internship? If you are looking to apply again, be sure to include past connections in your list of people to approach for advice and leads on open positions. It might be possible that you are looking for a change of field in your second internship, but never underestimate the power of goodwill and a good industry connection.
Your college is your best resource. Institutions have started encouraging students to apply for internships. 75% of internships students applied to in 2014 were full-time internships, as recommended by colleges. Certain colleges have also made internships a part of their curriculum. Approach your career counselor and make sure you are actively participating in on-campus recruitment.
Social media is a great tool to look for internships. LinkedIn, for instance, is where you will find information about a company, employees you can connect with as well as positions they are hiring for. Use the LinkedIn messaging feature to connect with recruiters or current employees. This will show that you are serious and willing to take the initiative to start a conversation. Companies active on Twitter and Facebook also regularly post about hiring interns.
Many institutions offer online classes to boost your skills. Some also conduct camps and workshops to help you with your skills in certain industries or develop your resume and cover letter. Make use of these online and offline resources to make your application stand out and highlight what you are good at. Interns face stiff competition from their peers, about 78% of all undergraduate students applied for an internship and 20% of post-graduate students applied for an internship.
Most internship applications will have deadlines, even if the internship is offered year round, each internship period will have the last date of application. It helps if you have a list of internships you want to apply to, their deadlines, as well as the documents you need to submit, all organized in an excel sheet. A useful thing to keep in mind is that internships are for exploring your career path. Therefore, don’t stick to one particular type of internship, be a little adventurous and apply in your other areas of interest.
The most important part of this internship process is you because you are what the company is looking at. Build a brand for yourself. Your presence on social media add your activity on these platforms will also be looked at. Know what your strengths and weaknesses are, because that is a sure shot question in any interview. Student applications for internships have as much as doubled from the previous year, which is an indication of how willing students are to learn valuable job skills. Focus on making yourself unique and building the brand that is you!
Do not automatically assume your dream internship is unachievable. At the some time, have realistic goals and keep a broad vision. A fortune 500 company and a start-up will both offer experience and the opportunity to learn. When applying, don’t discriminate. You might apply for 50 internships and only get 5 responses, don’t be disheartened, because that is how great people were made!
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