Internships are a great way to get your foot in the door for any career. They give you a real-life experience that you will never learn in a classroom. Some colleges even have internships as a requirement in order for students to graduate. Even though spring has just begun, this is the right time to start looking for summer internships, because many companies have deadlines in April. But how do you start your search? Well, we’ve got some tips on beginning and ending your internship hunt!
Don’t Apply to Just One or Two Companies
This is a mistake commonly made. Students apply to only one or two internships and when they don’t hear back from either of them, they have no plans for the summer. You should at least apply to around 8-10 internships. You could make a list of your top 10 companies that you would love to intern with. This creates a safety net so that you’re not left scrambling for summer plans.
Use Online Resources
Make sure you visit the website of the companies you’re applying to and do your research. Make sure you read the mission statement and look for keywords you could use in your cover letter or interview. Familiarize yourself with the top employees. If you don’t have a list of top 10 companies, websites like InternQueen.com, Ed2010.com and Internships.com can help you find internships in your desired location. Seventeen.com also have a list of 17 internships and how to apply for them.
Have a Tailored Resume and Cover Letter
Without these two things, it’s almost impossible to apply for an internship. If you need help, most schools have a career center that can help guide you with sample resumes and cover letters. Make sure you address your cover letter to a specific person, not “sir” or “madam”. Also, make sure that in the email you send to the employer is short and succinct. The Intern Queen, Lauren Berger, says to not copy and paste your cover letter in the body of the email. The opening email should only contain your name, school, major, year of graduation and what position you’re applying for.
It’s important to follow up after you send your materials to make sure that the company received them. After you send your resume, call about two weeks later. You could also use this time to ask when they begin to review the information.
Practice Interview Questions
The interview is one of the most important parts of this process. Make sure you’re prepared to answer any question. You can find sample questions online. Also, if you’re lucky enough to get an interview, make sure to send a handwritten thank you note right after the interview! Also, some companies might want you to be in the city that they’re located for the interview. If you’re unable to fly out, ask them if you could do a phone interview or a Skype interview.
Don’t be afraid to hear no! You’ll probably hear it many times during the process, but don’t let that bring you down! Just move on to the next one, and eventually you get that yes. Good luck on your hunt!
Photo credit: Oregon State University Blogs