Internships are among the best jobs you can get while in college because they offer you real world experience that employers go crazy for. Now that you’ve decided to intern, how do you land the perfect summer internship?
1. Perfect your resume and cover letter
Your resume and cover letter are usually the first things a potential employer sees. (Between you and I, many of the companies or organizations you’ll apply to will simply run your resume and cover letter through a software and search for key words) HR managers want to like and eventually hire you so make it easy on them by making sure these documents are up to par. Luckily for students at Georgia State, we have a career services center that will meet you half way and offers quick resume reviews from 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. to do so.
2. Keep your options open, and APPLY!
Have an idea of where you would like to intern? Great. Willing to relocate out of state? Perfect. Now keep in mind there are thousands of other applicants who answered yes to those same questions. So what now? APPLY! Apply to as many online internship postings as you can (Have a few versions of your resume ready, and always customize your cover letter to the employer you’re applying to). Yes, this is time consuming but you must be willing to work for what you want.
3. LinkedIn is your best friend
If you don’t have a LinkedIn already, please click here. It will be your best friend from this sentence on. LinkedIn is the professional older brother/sister of Facebook allowing you to connect with potential employers without having to be in the same room as them. The trick is to get your profile to all-star level by uploading your job history, responsibilities you have held in these positions, projects you have contributed to, connecting with (or friending/following) as many people in your network as possible, and asking for recommendations on LinkedIn from current or past employers that will show up on your LinkedIn profile.
Once you’ve created an all-star profile and applied for a few positions online, you can use LinkedIn to connect with that company or organizations HR manager. Once connected, you can send a brief message introducing yourself, explaining your reason for contacting them, and asking for a brief phone conversation you can use to discuss how your experiences, knowledge, and passions are a good fit for the position. Like I said earlier, HR managers want to hire you, and being a professional, qualified and enthusiastic candidate makes their job easier.
4. Informational Interviews work!
Believe it or not, asking employers you are interested in interning with for informational interviews prior to applying is a great way to get your foot in the door, and leave a great first impression.
5. Follow Up
Now that you have applied, connected with someone from the company or organization of your choice, and had a few information interviews its time to follow up. Remind your employer that you are still interested in the internship position and would like to know the following steps in the application process.
6. Work on your interview skills
After you’ve applied for about 300 positions (really 15-20), you should hear back from at least on employer. You’re almost there! Start brushing up on those interview skills that will help land you the perfect summer internship. The career services center holds mock interviews all semester long, Panthers!
7. Start early
The number one piece of advice you can receive from someone who didn’t land the perfect summer internship last year is to start your search early. Research the deadlines for summer internship applications for the companies or organizations you want to apply to before its too late.
Did you land the perfect summer internship last year? Sound off in the comment section to tell us how you did it!