Landing the perfect summer internship can be done with the right preparation and work. Don’t wait until the end of the semester when you’re wrapped up in finals to start the process of looking and applying for internships — make sure to get started early.
Use Strategic Networking
There are tons of online resources out there for potential interns, but you can broaden your networking horizons and do things the old-fashioned way. Think about who you know and what their connections might be. Don’t be afraid to ask friends and family about their knowledge of potential internship opportunities. You can do this by word-of-mouth or by using social media connections to your advantage.
The available online internship resources include several websites dedicated to matching high school and college students with their perfect summer jobs. Check out sites like YouTern or Internships.com where you can browse opportunities in various geographical areas and areas of interest.
Make a Plan
Don’t start the process of finding a summer internship without some kind of game plan. You want to make sure you know what you want before you start looking or things could get overwhelming very quickly. Make a list of companies and fields of research you’re interested in and the materials you’ll need to have ready to apply and interview.
See What’s Out There
You may have a few companies in mind that you’d like to work for, but you’ll want to make sure to do good research so that you know what they’re looking for in their interns. First of all, you might find your ideal company, but the specific types of internships they’re offering might not fit what you want at all. Second, if you do find an internship that interests you, you’ll do much better during the interview process if you know what they want.
College students have plenty of resources when it comes to finding the right internships. Start out by heading to your campus career center. Most colleges and universities have these centers where local businesses can put out the call for skilled interns. Many career centers will also offer students a time to sit down with an advisor and work on building a resume and figuring out these beginning stages of their career paths.
Prepare to Apply and Interview
As you’re preparing to apply and interview for internships, you’ll want to make sure you have a well-formed resume and a basic cover letter template that can be adjusted for different companies. Your resume can also be changed to highlight your particular skills suited for different opportunities, so make sure you’re paying attention to the details of each option.
Make a list of everything you’ll need to apply for a job and then to interview. You’ll want to include important items like a resume, cover letter, references, portfolio (especially if applying for a creative position), and a power outfit that will make you look more professional at the interview. Coming to an interview prepared and looking professional is an easy way to set yourself apart from the competition.
The right summer internship can not only give you a great summer break, but it can also start your future off on the right track. Follow these tips to land a great opportunity.