Internship hunting season opens
Tips for successful job searching and preparation
Published: Friday, October 19, 2012
Updated: Friday, October 19, 2012 00:10
It’s November, and for most college students that means it is time to start the internship scavenger hunt. Sure, there are career fairs and internship boot camps available on campus to aid you in your search, but not everyone has time to attend these time-consuming accommodations. I have compiled five helpful hints to help you while searching for an internship on your own.
Identify career interests. What do you want to do with your life? Who do you want to work with? What qualities do you possess that you want to highlight in a future internship? What ‘keywords’ do you want to use while searching for your future internship?
These are all things to consider while deciding what to include in a resume and what internships to apply to. These small details are vital to work out before your applying phase begins.
Create a professional cover letter and resume. This is a representation of you as a person and as a working individual. What have you accomplished? What makes you a salient candidate for the job other than all other applicants?
These are all aspects you want to include in your cover letter. Hiring managers may not pay meticulous attention to these introductions, but the first few lines will stand out if you state what you will bring to the company and what you hope to gain and learn.
What experiences have you had that will aid in your contributions to the company? Your resume will back all that you compiled for your cover letter. Make sure you organize it in a professional and consistent matter. The bullets, which describe each past experience you had, should detail the “what, how and why” aspect of your skills and how you execut them.
Okay, so you answered phones at a local restaurant? Spice your bullet up a little: “Served customers in a friendly and efficient manner while maintaining organization throughout the restaurant.”
Begin searching early. If you are looking for a competitive internship with a large company or industry, try sending out your resumes and cover letters by November. Many deadlines are rapidly approaching; so try to be sure to get those in.
For those lesser-competitive internships, December break is a great time to search without the pressures of schoolwork. Be sure to check out online websites such as Internships.com, heading to career services to get a quick lesson on HuskyCareerLink or trying to gain professional connections.
Networking is a vital tool in gaining an internship. Having a trustworthy employee at your desired company recommend you may not guarantee you a spot, but it will definitely speak wonders to the hiring manager or boss.
Spend time looking for an internship. It truly is like taking a separate course. Don’t stop once you apply to your first five jobs, you need to keep going. The more you apply to, the higher chance you will have of scoring that dream internship.
Remember to personalize your cover letters per company. You will want to highlight different aspects or past job experiences for different businesses. Also, it may help to create a LinkedIn profile, which many professionals utilize, before the interviewing or hiring process. And on that note, make sure your Facebook, Twitter, etc. are all on private. You wouldn’t want an embarrassing picture or post to affect your chances of scoring that internship.
If you get an interview, be professional. Act professional, look professional and speak professionally. Don’t use contractions and common slang. Remember, these hiring managers are looking for their best candidate. Be respectful, dress in work attire (think what you would wear to church or temple) and make sure you practice your answers to common interview questions.
This will help you avoid agitating word fillers such as “um” or “like.” Lastly, think ahead of what attributes you want to highlight: how do your personal skills relate to their company?
Of course there is no guarantee you will get an internship, but following these five tips can help bring you ahead of those who are less prepared for this searching season.