With almost two months left of the year, while it’s exciting that everyone’s favorite holidays are coming back around, it’s important not to forget to start securing the bag for the spring semester and summer break. November 1st tends to be the date where internships drop their applications for their summer programs. Wouldn’t it be better to celebrate the holidays knowing that you have a potential job offer coming your way? In this guide, I’m going to give you the ultimate advice for the internship application process: from the preparation, to the execution, to even the waiting period.
BEFORE YOU APPLY:
- Revise your Resume & Cover Letter
If you’ve recently completed a summer internship, got a new campus ambassador position, or a new volunteer opportunity, now’s the time to update your resume to reflect these new positions. It’ll also be great for you to remove older positions such as things from extracurriculars from high school.
When it comes to your cover letter, I recommend that you create one only if the internship asks for one that way you can tailor it to the job and emphasize past experiences mentioned on your resume that can be beneficial. Be sure to visit the career center on campus with assistance on resume and cover-letter revising!
2. Gather Recommendation Letters
By now, you should’ve already developed some sort of relationship with your professors and/or TA or have a great relationship with a supervisor from your job and/or volunteer work. If possible, reach out to them and ask for a recommendation letter. It could be a general one that can be used for a variety of applications or if needed, one that’s tailored towards the internship. I would advise that you ask early in the semester because once Thanksgiving and Winter break come rolling around, a flood of students will start asking your professors and they’ll become to overwhelmed.
There are a variety of places where you can finding spring/summer internship listings, here’s my top three:
- Your College’s Department Building
Universities are typically made up of colleges and schools. Each college and school usually have their own buildings where a majority of their professors, deans, faculty, and major-based classes can be found. In these buildings, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll find bulletin boards with internships/job opportunities. Next time you visit your college’s building, be sure to look for it.
2. Internship Search Engines
There are a variety of internship search engines that allow applicants to narrow down a variety of internships that are suited for their interests/majors. At Howard, we have a search engine called Handshake. On Handshake, you’re able to create one general application with information about yourself, your demographics, your education, upload your resume and cover letter, etc etc. With this application, you’ll also
Another similar search engine would be WayUp. WayUp is a company dedicated to connecting college students and recent grads with internships, part-time, and/or student jobs. The application is similar to Handshake’s and provides more variability and a blog filled with college, career and internship advice
Google is also another very useful tool you can use. You can simply search up [insert your major] internships for spring/summer 2019 and you’ll automatically see a variety options in your area.
3. Word of Mouth
Ask around! Your classmates, your friends, your mentors, and even your professors may have the hook-up on great internships or resources they use to find internships. Talking to one person could lead to another that could lead to an application. You might even network your way to a position.
- The Waiting Game
Waiting to hear back from an internship could be excruciating. Distract with yourself with your studies, extracurriculars, and even apply to other internships and/or part-time jobs. You can even use this time to comply a list of Fall Internships that you’re interested in.
2. Check Your Email
Check your email at least twice a day (morning and night) after applying to look for any updates from the program.
Most importantly, do not be discouraged if you’re not accepted. What is meant for you will not pass you.
- Missed a Deadline? Create a list of the internships you missed and save them so you can apply next year. You may not know the exact day of when those applications will drop but at least you’ll have a general idea of when to check back.
- Apply to as much as you and don’t let something as little as a major or classification restriction stop you. Sometimes you might have more experience than the other candidates and hiring manager may decide to give the position to you.
- After application, be sure to include all important dates in your calendars such as when the application period closes, when they said to expect to hear back from them, the interview period, and when acceptances/denials will be rolling out.
Did I forget anything? Do you have any advice? Be sure to comment down below!