Internships are the key to gaining the experience you need for the real world (as scary as that sounds!). Here are some tips to help you land the internship you’ve always dreamed of:
The Resume and Cover Letter
Yes, I said those two daunting words, but resumes and cover letters are the key to showing employers what you’ve got. You want something that’ll sell you and help you stand out, but also something not too lengthy or redundant. Be sure to meet with your academic advisor on campus to approve your documents before you send them out. You never know what silly mistakes you may be looking over! You can also check out some good resume writing tips here.
Network, Network, NETWORK!
As much as it stinks, the job world is all about who you know. Reach out to family and friends and let them know what you’re looking for. You never know, one of their best friends might have a sister working for your FAV company! Have some resumes handy or e-mail some just in case—having your resume on file at different companies means employers can reach out to you whenever needed.
Make sure to talk to your professors. After all, they’re the ones who know the ins and outs of your field, and they’ll be more than happy to help. Try the same with your advisor at the Cahill Center! Be sure to keep in contact with people you know in your industry and shoot them e-mails every once in a while, it’ll definitely come in handy. Even if they’re not looking to fill positions right away, it doesn’t hurt to keep in touch.
Do yourself a major favor and create a LinkedIn profile. This is a great tool to make connections and join groups where you can share what you have to offer and what you’re looking for. You can also job-hunt or score interviews this way. Speaking of job-hunt, make yourself a profile on Ramapo’s Archway and be sure to upload your resume. You can search openings and internships with a search tool that’ll narrow down exactly what you’re looking for.
Don’t be afraid to venture from campus resources and do a little Google searching on your own. Check out company websites you’re interested in and fill out some applications. You can even try some job sites like Monster. You never know!
The interview is the most important part of getting the internship. You have to know how to sell yourself. Be confident regardless of what you think your chances are. Passion beats GPA, and if you’re already at the interview the employer already has some sort of interest based on what he’s seen on paper.
One of the biggest keys to nailing an interview is being prepared. Research the company, know the products or clients, and when possible, know your interviewer. I once got asked my favorite show on an interview, and because I researched the interviewer, I knew we had a mutual show in common so I named that one. We made some great connections from it and shared some laughs. Also, don’t be shy to ask your own questions. Wondering about a position and its duties show you’re interested. Bring a notepad!
Be sure to dress appropriately. Assume business attire unless otherwise specified. It can never hurt to look professional!
Make an appointment with your academic advisor on campus for a “mock” interview. He/she will pretend to interview you with real-world questions, tell you how you did, and what you need to work on. You’ll even get a list of tips and sample questions.
By following these steps, you’ll be well on your way to nailing the perfect internship. GOOD LUCK!