Summer is coming, and for many students, that means internship season is near. Whether an internship is required for your degree field or not, having one provides a unique opportunity to gain hands-on experience in an area that will hopefully net you tangible, resume-worthy job experience.
But competition for a great internship can be fierce; so how do you find the perfect fit? Check out these tips from the GGC Career Development and Advising Center:
- Narrow your focus.
Know what type internship you are seeking based on your major and career interest. The Career Development and Advising Center has great resources you can use to begin.
- Update your resume.
Customize your resume for each internship opportunity for which you apply. Visit the Career Development and Advising Center for resume and cover letter assistance.
- Research companies.
Dust off your best Googling skills to research the companies you’re interested in, and identify which ones align with your career goals. Be sure to take good notes on what the company does, and formulate ideas on how you can bring value – you’ll need all this information when it’s time to interview.
- Create a plan.
Stay on top of your search with an internship plan including measurable goals to track your progress. Create a central document to help you keep track of applications and stay organized.
- Ask around.
Ask relatives, friends, professors, and alumni from your college about internship opportunities they may be aware of. Use LinkedIn to connect with professionals in the field you want to enter and learn about internship opportunities.
- Apply everywhere.
Don’t limit yourself to one internship application. Apply for multiple internships. Many organizations receive hundreds of applications per internship posting, so having options is key. Keep prospecting and applying until you have a solid internship offer.
- Perfect your interview.
Prepare for your interviews by scheduling a mock interview with a Career Development and Advising Center staff member. Be sure to come prepared by researching the company you’ve applied with, and bring a printed resume (yes, we know it’s the digital age, but old-fashioned printed resumes haven’t gone out of style just yet). Be sure to follow up with a thank you note after your interview.Hey, it’s okay…
If after your interview, you don’t feel like you’re a great fit for the position, it’s alright to decline an offer. Simply thank the hiring manager and move on to the next opportunity. No harm, no foul.
With proper preparation and a little bit of luck, you’re bound to land the internship of your dreams. Happy hunting!