So You Want an Internship?

Summer comes around and for a college kid you have a few options for work. You could work at the local YMCA, grocery store, get a landscaping job with your buddy’s dad’s company… Or you could work somewhere that’ll help you reach your long term career goals. How so? Well, with an internship of course! Here’s a few tips and pointers to get that internship:

1.) Make your listshutterstock_9255982
Think about what you want to do. Know what interests you, what you want to learn how to do, and what you could see yourself doing 10 years from now. With this information, write down some places and/or lines of work that you could see yourself in.

2.) Do your research
Research big companies in your area, or in the location you want to work, in order to find a good internship program. Bigger companies are more likely to have a well-established program to meet all your needs as an intern. But, don’t be afraid to pursue smaller companies for internship opportunities if it seems like it’s the line of work you want to be in.

3.) Know the company
This piece also requires some research. You need to research the company and its product lines to familiarize yourself with what the company does, how they do what they do, and most importantly why they do what they do. This will give you a better understanding to whether or not the company is a good fit and show employers come interview time that you did your homework!

4.) Make sure it’s attainable
When researching and looking through internship opportunities you need to make sure that it’s one that is attainable and realistic. So, make sure that you have transportation, living, and all other necessities worked out in order for this internship to work. The last thing you want is to commit yourself to an awesome internship program and have to pull out at the last minute.

5.) Build and trim that resume
In terms of building the right resume, your ultimate goal should be to make it as clear and thorough as possible so an employer will see and feel that you are the right candidate for the job. You need to hone in on the key skills and requirements that the employer is looking for. Be sure to tailor your resume to each internship you apply for, as the skills and requirements will most likely vary upon position, department, industry, etc.

6.) Reach out and contact
Contacting employers for internship opportunities can vary. If there is a formal application program, then be sure to write out your application and apply online or by mailing in (go with the preferred method of the employer). Be sure to do a little digging and research to figure out who will be receiving your application. If you don’t know this you can probably figure it out by calling HR and asking them who handles hiring. Then, be sure to contact that person via email or letter displaying your interest and explaining why you would make a good fit.

7.) Fine-tune your interview skills
Before you go waltzing in there for an interview you need to make sure you’ve done the right preparation. A big one is knowing your resume and yourself better than anyone else. If you can’t sell yourself and what’s on the sheet of paper you hand them, then you probably won’t get that second interview or the job at all. In addition to knowing yourself, be sure to do research on the company and the position you’re applying for. You need to understand the position and why you’re the best match for it by providing concrete examples to the interviewer. When interviewing be sure to be enthusiastic and confident, but not over the top. Show this through a firm handshake, positive eye-contact, confident body language, and carefully thought-out responses. And don’t be afraid to literally state to the interviewer/hiring manager that you want the position and following it up with why.

8.) Follow-Up
Any time you talk or have an interview with someone at a company, be sure to thank them and remind them that you’re out there and still want to intern with them. This can be done by means of email, letters, or both. This will reinforce your interest in the company and the position, in addition to keeping you fresh in the minds of the employer.

 

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Comments

  1. Great article! Very helpful for the young professional.

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