Harder than the hunt for the perfect holiday gift is the hunt for spring and summer internships. You’ve got your resume ready and you’re on the lookout, but don’t know where to start. Here are a few of my favorite tips on how to find an amazing internship to add to your credentials:
The obvious starting place is to head to the online job listings. These listings can be found in a variety of places, including Internships.com, Monster College, and LinkedIn. Although this is an easy way to see internship listings in your area, it will not give you a great sense of the posting company. Pair your search with some detective work on the company’s website or a third party resource like Glassdoor or InternshipRatings to make sure it’s the right fit for you.
Don’t overlook your own back yard when looking for an internship. Check out school compiled databases. Many colleges and universities keep track of their alumni who are offering internship positions and post them on a forum specifically for their students. By finding an internship through your school, you walk in with a shared background with your employer, which is a big help in getting your foot in the door.
Touch up your resumes and pull on that blazer, because the next place to find an internship is a career fair. This is probably one of the easier ways to find an internship, because the companies in search of talented young minds are coming to you. However, this doesn’t mean you can sit back and wait to be discovered. Research the companies attending the fair and pick out your favorites ahead of time. This will help you be calm, collected, and informed when approaching them at the actual fair. You may also want to customize your resume for each company, pulling out the best bits of experience to showcasing your talent to their specific needs.
Speakers and Events
One of the lesser-known ways to land an internship is by attending school events. Guest speakers are a great way to learn about a company and what they are looking for in a potential candidate. Most of the time, the speaker will announce if the company is looking for interns, but feel free to be follow-up and inquire about opportunities afterwards. Show initiative and introduce yourself to the speaker after their presentation. Even if they aren’t currently looking, your expressed interest may get noted for a future position.
Make Your Own!
Did you know that if an internship position at a company does not exist in the department you want, you can propose your own? Although this doesn’t always work, companies are usually willing to receive extra help, as long as it is at no cost to them. If you see an area where you feel your skills can be utilized, contact them and offer your services. Validate your skills by including your Smarterer badges so that your hoped employer knows you’re fit for the gig. In the long run, a valuable experience where you can put your skills to work far outweighs not getting paid.
What other ways have you found your internship? What resources have you found most helpful? Share your tips and tricks in the comments, we’d love to hear from you!
Catch up with Jacki on Twitter at @JackiStThomas