As college students begin their professional careers, they can feel immense pressure from peers, parents and instructors to become successful career-oriented adults. Internship experience is crucial for college students to gain vital workplace skills and expand their knowledge for future long-term employers. Every co-ed is eager to gain this field experience, which can lead to much stress when the time comes to start filling out applications. The competitive nature of landing an internship does not help with the anxiety that comes with the process either. As friends begin solidifying their summer plans, you may feel lost on how to begin your internship hunt. I’ve listed a few tips below on how to secure an amazing internship that will elevate your skills to the next level.
1) Research potential companies
When beginning your internship search, you may see job postings for many positions at a number of different companies. If a position piques your interest, it is crucial to research the company. Find the company’s values, mission statement and overall goals to make sure that they align with your personal values. This is also important during an interview with these companies because they will expect you to have done your research and have questions ready to ask.
2) Create a LinkedIn profile
Creating a LinkedIn profile allows you to connect with professionals on a platform made for the job hunt. Your profile should showcase prior and current accomplishments both academically and professionally. Strong profiles allow prospective employers to easily gain a sense of your skills. On LinkedIn, you can also follow companies to remain aware of new job opportunities and interesting things within the business. Most importantly, stay active on LinkedIn to connect with like-minded professionals, update your profile and look at new job postings.
3) Edit your high school resume
Many students have a resume they used in high school when applying to different colleges and organizations, but this resume most likely contains unnecessary and outdated information. When applying for an internship, it is important to have an up-to-date resume. Remove high school clubs and different jobs that do not showcase the skills companies are looking for in an ideal candidate. You will also want to add any new awards, achievements, or on-campus activities you are involved with in college.
4) Don’t wait for the job posting
Do not be afraid to reach out to a company you are interested in working for. If they don’t have an internship position listed, you can always reach out via email to inquire about possible future positions. In your email you will want to briefly introduce yourself, express your interest in working for the company, and attach your resume. If the company is not looking to hire at the moment, at least they are aware of your interest and have your resume on hand for future opportunities.
5) Use the Campus Career Center
Many college students forget about the resources available to them while they’re in school. Career centers have hired people whose sole purpose is to help you with your job search. These career centers can help you prepare for an interview, review your resume and give you sound professional advice on future steps after graduation. Many companies may even reach out to different college career centers to advertise their new internship openings. This gives career centers inside contact information and connections with companies that can be extremely beneficial to you.
Hopefully, these five tips will help to relieve some stress when it comes to finding, applying and interviewing for potential internships. Remember to ask for help. Use the resources around you if you begin to feel overwhelmed. Best of luck in your internship hunt!
Written by: Lawton Branham