Internships are a great way to get experience in your field of study, make connections with employers, build your resume, and gain insight. Summer internships can take the place of your typical summer job or count towards course credit. When applying for internships, it is important to keep a couple tips in mind. As a Human Resources major, I have learned what employers look for and what you can do to increase your chances of landing that summer internship.
1. Search Job Websites
There are plenty of websites that employers typically post internship or job listings to. It is important to consistently check out these websites and apply when you see an internship you like pop-up. Some reliable and helpful websites include, LinkedIn, Indeed.com, USA Jobs, and Internships.com.
2. Build Your Resume
Your resume is a snapshot of your academic achievements, previous job history, and skills. It is important to have an up-to-date resume that captures the most important skills and experiences you possess. Your resume should be at most one page in length. Employers typically look at a resume in 15 seconds, so it is crucial that your resume is easy to read and the most important information catches the reader’s attention.
3. Reach Out to Employers
Not all companies post their internship positions on a website like Internships.com or Indeed.com. If you know of a company that you would be interested in working for then check out the company website or contact the Human Resources Department via email. When reaching out, be professional, detailed, and provide contact information. Never ask for a job or an internship directly. Always express your interest in the company and ask them to notify you if there are internship opportunities available.
4. Build Your Network
Networking is a great way to receive valuable advice and opportunities. Your college or university’s alumni is a good place to start. Attend a networking event, speak to your professors or add connections on LinkedIn. Begin by reaching out, providing some information about yourself, and express interest in speaking with them or gaining insight from them. Most alumni are happy to help students, give advice, and provide insight about their career or company. Networking has helped me to learn more about my career path and even provided me with an internship opportunity.
5. The Interview
If you are given an interview for an internship, it is crucial that you are well-prepared. Always research the company to learn about their mission, business strategy, and organizational culture. In interviews, they will often ask you to tell them about yourself or they will ask you why you want to work for them specifically. So, be ready to answer these questions! Dress business casual, unless told otherwise. Always arrive early to the interview. After the completion of the interview, send a thank-you letter or email in which you thank the interviewer for their time and consideration. Do this whether or not you receive the internship or job!