Internships are invaluable. As college students you MUST complete at least one (if not multiple) internship during your study breaks. One of the main benefits of internships are that they give you work experience. More and more employers want new hires to have some work experience in the industry or job that you would like to pursue.
It also allows you to acquire more well-rounded experiences and you get to also see first-hand how companies function on a day to day basis. More importantly the experiences provide you invaluable understanding of the business and industry in which you want to work in once you graduate. Internships also help you grow in confidence, build your professional network or even get you hired right out of college!
Here are five tips that will help you get the internship of your dreams.
Assuming this is your first internship search, the first thing you want to do is to really figure out a few things first. Ask yourself these questions;
If you can figure out the answers to these questions, then you will be able to streamline the companies you want to apply to. These answers will also come in handy during your job interviews.
You honestly cannot predict where and when you might run into your pot of gold. Use every resource you possibly can to find the right internship. Work with your school’s career counsellors, let your professors know you are looking for an internship, ask fellow students where they did their internships, use your school’s network alumni, tap into the resources your parents and friends might have.
Scour the web such as JobStreet.com for internship postings; go to career fairs, talks and events in the field of your interest. Introduce yourself and network with people in the industry at these events and let them know you are looking for an internship. Make an effort to be at the right place and at the right time.
Don’t limit yourself to just one job specification or one industry or type of organization. Keep an open mind, especially towards companies, location, and industries. You may end up finding passion in a place you never expected! If you stay open to the right opportunities, great experiences will follow.
(Tip: When searching for internships, remember that it’s never too early to start thinking about your career, and that any experience helps.)
One of the first things you want to do even before actively searching for an internship is to build a strong resume and cover letter. You want to make sure that your resume is absolutely pristine. That means no grammatical errors!
In addition to making sure that the resume and applications are error-free, you must make sure that you include information that employers frequently want to know about such as relevant experience you have in the industry, as well as any special knowledge you may have acquired in the field thus far, preferably toward the top of the document or in some other prominent place.
Keep it short and concise! (preferably 2 pages) If you’re having a hard time compressing it, cut out things the least important. Also, cut out anything that is from high school or not relevant to your degree/career. Always write a cover letter in addition to submitting your resume. Tailor your cover letter with details on what makes you a good fit and why you chose this company for an internship.
(Tip: Create your profile with JobStreet.com and use their resume format that most employers preferred. It’s free, convenient and customisable. Once done you can start applying for internships and even print it out to attend interviews.)
Most companies have deadlines for internship applications which are oftentimes months before the start of the internship itself. Missing the application date for an internship that you really wanted can be devastating and will likely take you out of the running before you even had the chance to apply.