Don’t let the chilly weather fool you: Summer is just around the corner. While some of you may be looking forward to a couple academic-free months and a stellar tan, others are getting ready for an amazing summer internship (hopefully!). And it’s time to get going on your applications! There’s so much to do, but where to get started? As always, collegiettes, we’re here to help. Follow this step-by-step guide and you’ll be on your way to internship application success in no time!
STEP 1: Create a List of Possible Internships
Searching for an internship is essentially impossible without knowing what you’re looking for. Start off this process by creating a list of companies you’d love to work for. Make sure to apply to a lot of different internship programs since most are extremely competitive. Casting a wide net—within desired industries, of course—will better your chances for snagging the one that’s perfect for you. Are some of you intern rookies totally lost when it comes to even finding an internship you’d like to apply for? We would never leave you hanging. Tracking down some dream internships is only a click away:
- Internships.com: Welcome to the internship mecca, collegiettes! Not only does this website help you find internships that are perfect for your major, but they also help you be the best applicant you can be. A little clichéd? Well it’s true! When you upload your resume to the website, your new BFFs at Internships.com rate your resume based on content and format.
- Ed2010: Magazine fanatics be warned: this website is addictive. Ed2010 is all about listing magazine internships for budding journalists. But what if an editorial career isn’t in your future? You can still check out the website! Ed2010 has a bunch of articles about networking and how to score that sweet internship.
- Intern Queen: When Lauren Berger, CEO of Intern Queen, was a collegiette at University of Central Florida, she had fifteen internships. Fifteen internships in four years? That’s beyond impressive. Thankfully, she didn’t let her internship experience go to waste. Instead, Lauren created Intern Queen, the one-stop site for finding fabulous internships. With an array of listed cities and industries, don’t be surprised if you find your dream internship here. Also, Lauren blogs about tips, tricks, and firsthand experience for your entertainment. There’s only one thing to say to that: all hail the Queen!
- CollegeRecruiter.com: Imagine a website that’s totally committed to finding college students internships. Well, you are no longer dreaming: CollegeRecruiter is your favorite new website. All you need to do is fill out your desired job title and the city you’d like to intern in, and CollegeRecruiter does the rest. Make sure to bookmark CollegeRecruiter because this website can help you find entry-level jobs once you graduate!
- HC’s Careerette Section: Head over to our very own job and internship listing section on HC, where we post opportunities from all sorts of companies looking for stellar collegiettes like you to join their teams.
What if you’re looking for internship opportunities at a specific company? Most businesses have a Career page on their website. Who knew that surfing the web could be so productive?
STEP 2: Research, Research, Research!
Now that your dream internship list is created, it’s time to research! But what are you supposed to look for? Here are a couple of things to get the ball rolling:
- Housing accommodations (if necessary)
- Paid versus unpaid
- Application due dates
- If the internship will give you college credit
- Contact Information
- Any other pre-requisites (GPA or major requirement, recommendations, etc.)
Just remember that every internship has different requirements. To prevent a serious mix-up, keep all of this information organized. Create a spreadsheet or Google Doc with all your research. We promise that researching a ton and being organized will make this process less stressful.
STEP 3: Talk to a Campus Career Counselor
Although you’ve done all the research, you might be more confused than you were before. Can you apply to an internship for college credit? How should you cut down your resume? Lucky for you, your Campus Career Center has all the answers: it’s their job to help you snag sweet jobs and internships. “We are the ones with experience, connections, and relevant information to help students perform a successful search,” says Kelly Forde, a Career Service Coordinator at Boston University. “We spend so much of our day working with employers so we know specifically what they are looking for and what strategies will work with them.” With all of their knowledge, they’ll definitely be able to help you out. Plus, your career advisor may have more internship suggestions! So call your Career Service Center and set up a meeting: a scheduled meeting will ensure a lot of one on one time. Don’t forget to bring your resume, cover letter drafts, and your research. The more your career counselor knows about your internship search, the more she will be able to help!
STEP 4: Perfect (Or Create) Your Resume
Hopefully, you already have a working draft of your resume saved on your laptop. If that’s the case, then all you need to do is update your resume with your latest internships and extracurriculars. After a couple of quick edits, your resume will be ready for submission. Usually, a resume is only a page so nix your high school activities and focus on all of your collegiette accomplishments. Okay, so you now know what to put on a resume, but how do you format it? There are so many websites, like Instant Resume Templates, that help you build an awesome resume. For the future, update your resume every few months: that way, you won’t have to stress about it later.
STEP 5: Ask for Recommendations
Now that you’ve taken a good look at your resume, it’s time to ask people for recommendations. Start writing a list of your former bosses who you know will say that you’re hardworking, brilliant, passionate, awesome… you get the picture, right? As for those bosses who cut back your work hours and fired you: cross them off your list immediately. Send your potential references a polite email about your summer internship search and ask if you can use them as a reference. If they’re as cool as you think they are, they’re bound to say yes. But what if you’ve never had a job before? Your college professors are a great alternative. Stop by your desired professors’ office hours and talk to them about your potential summer plans. Just make sure you participate in these professors’ classes: they can’t give you the raving review that you want if you’re just one of the two hundred people in a lecture hall! Last—but not least—don’t forget to collect all of their contact information, including phone numbers.