Follow These Steps to Secure an Internship Program
Enrolling in an internship program is not easy. Follow these steps to ensure one for yourself.
Now that school is back in session, it’s never too early to start thinking about an internship program for the summer. Many students wait until spring break is over and by then, it is often too late. Many organizations have their candidates for internships by the end of the calendar year and use the holiday and spring breaks to interview them. Here are some steps to consider.
Make an appointment with your college career resource office. They will help you prepare your resume, have lists of internship program from organizations in your field, and get you started
Have your resume reviewed by three people. Sixty-one percent (61%) of resumes have a typo; you don’t want to be in that category. Spell check can’t catch homophones (are, our) or common typos like manager versus manger.
Put an objective statement of why you want the internship on your resume.
Prepare a list of 20-30+ companies in your area and start researching when they post an internship program. Call the human resources office at those companies and ask, or send an email to the contact listed on the website. Don’t forget about associations in your field, because they hire interns as well.
Make sure your LinkedIn profile is professional and include the URL on your resume. Start connecting and networking with alumni from your school. Often you can find the names of human resources contacts within the organization, as many automated phone attendants have dial by last name options. Periodically post that you will be looking for an internship. When you get an interview, reach out to alums from your school that work for the organization to ask about “background info” like culture, benefits, etc.
Start attending job fairs at your college or university. They are often looking to hire graduates, but it is good place to find out if they offer internship program as well for undergraduates. During the fair:
- Ask the representative what they look for in an intern. Have copies of your resume and a business card ready. Mini business cards by moo.com can be particularly effective.
- Follow up with a handwritten thank-you note and a business card with your name, email address, cell phone number, and areas of interest. One year, my daughter got an internship because the HR professional put her thank-you note and contact information into a file.
- Dress professionally.
- Carry a portfolio and take notes as you talk to recruiters. Turn off your cell phone and throw away your gum.
Change your voicemail greeting to something simple and professional. No music, no matter how catchy you think “I Like It” is by Cardi B.
Check with your local Chamber of Commerce, they often try to help college students find internship program.
Internships are a valuable way to gain experience and build your resume for future jobs. It is a great way for you to find out whether the culture and organization are a fit for you. Good luck!