By Savanna Perry
Internships are an integral part of a college student’s education and future in the real-world. They help get your foot in the door and give you the experiences needed to succeed. They also help you determine if you really want to pursue a career in a specific field, or if another path might be best. Finding the perfect internship may be challenging, as it takes time and patience. Here are four tips to help make your internship search a success:
Do your research
Your first thought may be to simply Google internships near you in your preferred field. However, that’s what everyone else is likely doing. You can find some great internships this way, but more often than not the application pool will be much larger, thus making your chances of even being interviewed very slim. Instead, identify companies in your field of interest who are located in your geographic area. For example, “Public relations companies in Portland, Maine.” Once you have your location set, research companies in your preferred industry whose workplace values and initiatives align with yours. You may be able to identify a ton of companies in your field, but it doesn’t mean they’re all the right fit.
Time for outreach
Once you’ve identified a few companies you want to work for, you can start the outreach process. You can find contact information on their website, however, LinkedIn is also a good resource for those making connections. Reach out through a message or email, introduce yourself and let them know why you’re interested in their internship. Ask if they have any openings for applications and make sure in your message that you provide basic information, such as where you attend school, your major/minor and any other qualifications you may have. I also recommend adding where you’re from if you go to school in a different state (e.g., I go to school in Florida, but was looking for internships back home in Maine). Make sure to engage with each company that is of interest to you, as this helps you get your name out there. When looking at applicants, the hope is that they will recognize your name and remember that you made the effort to personally reach out.
If you receive an interview, be sure to send a follow up email with any additional information they might need. For example, they might ask to see social media or writing samples. Don’t be afraid to make the note more personal and communicate that you appreciated meeting them.
Clean up your resume
One of the first steps in any internship search is to make sure your resume is updated, clean and easy to read. Sometimes, companies will use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to read resumes and sort out applicants into those who would be a good fit for the job versus those who aren’t. This way of resume reviewing is typically based on algorithms and keywords.
However, even if you aren’t applying for an internship at a large company, you should make sure your resume is in an easy-to-read format. Graphics can be fun, but content and readability is more important. Also check your resume for spelling and grammar errors multiple times. I recommend having someone else read it as well, as it is very easy to overlook your own mistakes. You could be the perfect candidate for an internship, but even a little typo on a resume can be viewed negatively.
Be prepared for rejection
The majority of the emails and applications you send will result in a rejection. Many times, you won’t hear back at all. This is perfectly okay and normal. All you need is that one yes. One company to take a chance on you. Be patient. Companies could get back to you within a couple of days, others may take weeks. If you get a number of rejections in a row, try not to get discouraged. Take a deep breath and keep looking for more opportunities. There is one out there meant for you, you just have to find it.
Finding an internship takes time, but it is worth it. These experiences are vital to your future transition into the professional world.
Interested in an internship at Eclipse Media Group? Click here to learn about our Summer 2022 internship program and to apply (it’s never too early!)