Advice From a College Student on How to Get Your Next Internship
Forget diamonds, now internships are a girl’s best friend. I would go as far as to say that internships are any college student’s best friend. Internships provide you with the opportunity to showcase your talents in a professional setting, and there’s really no downside to getting one. However, actually getting an internship, especially one that provides compensation for your work, is easier said than done. Through lots of trial and error I have figured out what works and what doesn’t when applying/interviewing for an internship, so here are my 4 hard and fast rules for when you’re in the market for an internship:
1) Write a cover letter
If you don’t write a cover letter, then don’t expect to get a reply from the company that you are applying to. Cover letters are like your key to receiving an invitation for an interview, and without them all you have is a resume that nobody will bother to read. Making the extra effort and taking the extra time to write a cover letter signals that you are ready to take on the responsibilities and commitments of the internship you’re applying for, and if your cover letter is written correctly then it will also serve to highlight your best qualities.
2) Update your resume
If you haven’t done so recently, you should most definitely refresh your resume. Even if you’ve been at the same company for the past year, it is likely that you have been given more responsibilities, and therefore you can add those new skills to your resume. A resume is meant to present all of your relevant abilities and talents, but it cannot do that if you haven’t edited it since your part-time job from high school where you were working at your local pizza joint. Also, if you somehow happen to not have a resume written yet, then this is your sign to write one.
3) Look EVERYWHERE for your next opportunity
Internships are like butterflies; They are pretty to look at, but hard to catch, and sometimes even harder to find. However, if you put in the time to look for one then your efforts will be well rewarded. To make your life easier, start by checking on Indeed and LinkedIn for the newest internships. Also, if you’re in school then it’s likely that your institution has a list of available internships hidden somewhere on their website. Another option is to cold email companies, because sometimes those connections can create great new opportunities.
4) Prepare for the interview (research)
Once you have secured an interview, it’s important to prepare for it. Sure, you should look up some of the more common interview questions and answers, but you should also make sure to come up with a list of questions to ask your interviewer. It is important to remember your resume and cover letter well, because chances are they won’t be sitting in front of you and there’s nothing worse than forgetting an impressive accomplishment that you made in the past. As an added bonus, if you know who your interviewer will be then make sure to do some research on them because you never know when that might come in handy.
Writing intern at Hired By, Ohio University student studying journalism and music production/industry recording, and writer for Odyssey Online.
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