It's time to find the perfect internship! But where do you start? You could probably check out the library and grab a random flyer from the job board, but is that really the best thing for you and your career development? Finding the perfect internship can be extremely challenging, but it certainly doesn’t have to be. Here is a list of 5 simple tips to help you land your dream internship and possibly even turn it into a career!
1. Just ask.
Source: RLF Communications
It’s that simple. When you’re in your favorite morning coffee shop getting your daily pick-me-up, or even at the doctor’s office for your yearly physical, simply ask the people around you if they know of any opportunities or internships in the area. It might sound a little bit strange or intimidating, but it’s time to put your big girl or boy pants on and just ask around - you are trying to get a job, after all, and networking is key. It’s time to put all of those skills you’ve been taught to work!
2. Wait for the right one.
Source: Center for Creative Leadership
Don’t accept just any internship. If you accept the first one that comes along, you’ll end up settling for less that what you really want, and you’ll probably end up super unhappy. If you’ll notice, the title of this blog post says “DREAM INTERNSHIP”... not just “internship”. Think about it, will accepting just any old internship that comes your way really help you pursue your ideal career? Or will it just waste time that you could have spent developing your long-term career path? Instead, focus on your career goals and what you’re actually looking for long-term. The goal of an internship is to assist you with job training, preparedness, and maybe even placement for the future.
3. Check, double check, and triple check your resume.
A strong resume and a customized cover letter are essential in the job-seeking process. This is no different in the internship process. While the money may not be there, the professional relationships and the opportunities that internships present most certainly are. Spell check is great, but there are a lot of other errors commonly found on resumes, so be sure to read it over numerous times. Even after you’ve checked it over for the 47th time, give it to your most anally-retentive friend and have them go over it one more time. Also, keep in mind that you should only list relevant work experiences; not every babysitting or newspaper delivery job you had growing up. Lastly, always remember that companies get tons of resumes, so it’s important that you make yours stand out from the rest.
4. Clean up your social media profile.
Source: Travel and Leisure
Unfortunately, your private life - or not so private life - can often come into play when searching for a job or internship. Many corporations, and even small business, are now doing simple google searches for their potential employees. Typically, this includes links to any of your social media accounts. So if you’re serious about your internship and your career, be sure that all of your social media profiles reflect a person that potential employers would want representing them. Make sure the name and face you’re putting out there for the public to see, reflects the “you” that companies will to hire or take on as an intern.
5. Perfect your interviewing skills.
Source: ABA for Law Students
Okay, so, you asked around and found your dream internship, your resume was a hit, and now it’s time for your interview. This is, hands down, the most nerve-racking and stressful part of the entire process, for me anyway! Many times, this can be the make-or-break portion of the hiring process. So how can you make sure to nail it? First of all, dress the part. Don’t wear your everyday street clothes. You’re making a first impression here, and you want it to be a good one. Dress for the job - professionally. Next, be sure to use a firm handshake and keep good eye contact when introducing yourself and speaking to your interviewer. In addition, always speak clearly and confidently. Your interviewer may ask questions pertaining to your resume, so make sure you know dates and details like the back of your hand. It’s also a good idea to do some digging to learn a little bit about your potential employer, as this will show them that you have a genuine interest in the company. Lastly, when they ask if you have questions at the end of the interview, be sure to ask at least one! Asking questions shows that you care, and employers want to work with people who care as much about the job as they do.