Finding an internship can be incredibly stressful for college students, but internship experiences are the perfect way to make you stand out in job applications after graduation, as well as apply what you have learned in classes to the *real world.* Since internships have become so vital for getting a great job post-graduation, they have become very competitive, making the process frustrating + overwhelming. To help make your internship search a little easier, we’ve compiled our top tips for searching, applying, + interviewing so that you will be a top candidate for any internship!
The first step in finding the perfect internship for you is by searching for it! Many students worry — when should I start looking? Many internship applications open in the fall, around October + close by the end of the year. Others don’t open until around January + close in March. Depending on the industry you’re in, deadlines can vary between company to company so it’s best to get on top of it + be prepared. If you miss these deadlines, don’t fret! Many applications do not open until March or April + there are always companies who wait til the last minute to hire interns.
The best way to know when to apply is to make a list of your ideal internships + look on their websites to see when applications open ++ close. The earlier you apply, the earlier you are likely to hear back.
There are so many platforms companies use to post position listings, as well as resources through your university that can help to lead you to the right fit for you.
Indeed // Indeed is a great place to start looking for internships as you can filter for the location you are looking to intern in. For many of Indeed’s job listings, if you make a profile with all of your experience + skills, ++ add your resume, applying to the job is as easy as a single click.
LinkedIn // Many people think of LinkedIn as just a networking social media platform, but it also is a great place to search for internships. Plus you can look for other people who have completed the internship + connect with them // see more about what the job entails. We even suggest reaching out to the HR // recruiter for the company. There job is to hire people for the open positions, so they’ll be happy to give you advice // put in a good word
University’s Employment Site // Many universities also have their own platforms to help students find jobs which have been passed through the university to certify that they are reputable. In addition, a lot of campus departments have internships [such as running the social media accounts of the business school] so you can reach out to department heads if you’re really interested Not only can these internships align well with your interests, they also tend to be close by + convenient to get to!
Internship + Career Fairs // While these fairs can be very intimidating + you may have to wait in lines to talk to a recruiter, this is a great way to meet recruiters from companies who are hiring interns.When you get there, have an idea of what kind of employers you are interested in + come with some questions to ask them. Be sure to do your research ahead of time + don’t forget a few copies of your resume!
Ask around with friends in your major // Sometimes internships aren’t posted publicly + having a friend who can introduce you or help pass your name along is the way to get hired. Many internships, especially for large companies, are directly on the company’s website + aren’t advertised. Talk to your friends + see what companies they interned with + ask for contact information!
Writing a resume // There are so many opinions about the *best* way to write a resume, so be sure to read multiple sites + cater to the industry you are trying to get a job in. Some of our favorite pieces of advice to follow? Write from the third person, start each bullet point with a strong verb + stick to one page when possible. Your resume is a place to ~brag~ about your accomplishments + show potential employers why YOU are best for the job — don’t just rattle off your job descriptions but instead write about your accomplishments in your past jobs.
Have someone review your resume // Head to your university’s career development center, ask an older girl on your chapter’s exec team, ask your CLC, or a trusted professor. Or, just ask a friend who has perfected their own resume. One great tip is at the end of your internship to sit down with your manager + have them help you to craft the section of your resume about your experience.
Writing a cover letter // Cover letters are the perfect opportunity to tell the employer why your resume means you will be successful in the job + most importantly, why you want the job. Be sure to make your cover letter personalized + cater to the job description of the job you are applying to. Your cover letter should show your interest + enthusiasm for the position.
If interviews make you nervous, don’t worry — you’re not alone! A great way to feel more confident before an interview is to practice. If you are confident that you know your answers to common interview questions, you’ll be more relaxed in the interview + be able to show the employer your best self.
Check out these common interview questions + go through them to make sure you know what you would say if you were asked!
Another interviewing tip is to take deep breaths + power pose before you head in. When you’re sitting in your car [or even in the bathroom stall!] you can do power poses — standing in a confident position that helps to tell your brain that you are powerful! Learn more about power posing here. Don’t forget to take deep breaths + say your favorite mantras to yourself before as well to help you stay calm + get ready to land your dream internship!
Happy internship hunting! Do you want to work for CHAARG? Always be on the lookout for CHAARGtern apps opening! Have an internship you want to pitch us? ; ) Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org!