Tips to Help Land That Internship

Summer is approaching, but if you don't have that internship yet know that you are not alone! Landing an internship can pose a challenge as the selection process is extremely intense and many college students seem defeated by the resume building, application process, and interviewing sessions. Remember that no applicant is more qualified than another. It is all about how you present your skill set, your professionalism, and yourself. Here are some tips to help you land that internship: 

1. Your Resume

Make sure your resume is up to date, specific, and CLEAR. I know it is hard to say good bye to those volunteer positions you did in high school or the fact that you made it into National Honors Society your sophomore year of high school, but unfortunately, employers don't care about any of that. Instead, think of activities you do in college that are relevant to the position you are applying for. For example, if you are applying for a marketing internship position, mention that you got an A+ in economics or that you have experience in that field. If you are applying within an advertising agency, mention that you are a part of the American Advertising Federation (AAF) or that you run the social media platforms for your sorority. Make sure that your activies are relevant, but also say a lot about who you are. For your skill set on your resume, I recommend that you glance at the job requirements for the position you're applying for. If a company is looking specifically for those who are hardworking and good at time management, put that on your resume. Usually, a machine goes through the resumes first, looking for key words to find applicants. These key words can make or break whether or not you land that interview. 

2. Your Application

Make sure you are looking for internships early in the year. If you haven't yet, don't worry! There are still a lot of companies that are looking for summer interns even in April and May. Apply to dozens of companies, too. Don't give up after one or two because your chances won't be that good. When looking for an internship, I applied to 15, but only heard back from 2. Think about all of your interests as well. I applied for marketing internships, event planning internships, advertising internships, and publishing ones. Your internship doesn't have to be within your major, either. It is all about finding what interests you, gaining experience within that field, and maybe forming a career out of it. Everyone changes their mind based on experience, too. That new experience can completely change your direction, so new experience is good! When you are applying, also make sure you read up on their job requirements and even the company history. You will need that information for the interview process. It is always a good idea to have knowledge on the company you are applying for.

3. Your Interview

Most companies will put you through a series of two to three interviews: two phone interviews (one with the talent recruiter and one with management, which could be up to 5 people) and maybe one in person with management as well. Usually, if you are a college student, phone interviews are preferred because they know it is difficult to ask you to come in for an interview if you are away at school. It is very important to be yourself during this process, but to also be professional. Dial in or arrive early to your interview as it will demonstrate your drive to impress them. Answer their questions clearly and don't ramble on and on, but if you do it's okay! They know that interviews can be nerve-wracking, just remember that they too have been in your position. Have some answers to questions prepared. For example, in almost every interview they'll most likely ask for 2-3 of your strengths and weaknesses. They might ask why you think you should be considered for the position. They also may ask for your knowledge on the company, so make sure you know their company history, main area of work, and their motto. Also, have some questions prepared to ask your interviewers. These questions could range from "What do you most enjoy about working with [insert company name]," to "What will my typical day working for your company look like?" They want to hear questions from you, so have a couple prepared! Be cheery but relaxed, and if this interview is in person make sure to smile and shake their hands before and after the interview. I suggest sending a "thank you" email after each interview! Thank them for their time and consideration and recall an anecdote that you talked about during the interview. It can be as simple as your interviewer suggesting to get this particular coffee order at Starbucks. Mention in the thank you email that you tried it and enjoyed it. Obviously, don't force it, but cater it towards your interview. 

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