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9 Hacks to Getting Your Dream Internship

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at South Carolina chapter.

We all know the pressure to find a good internship in college can be overwhelming. On top of classes, a social life, staying healthy and work, thinking about what you’re going to do next summer is the last thing you want to worry about. Luckily, we’ve got you covered with these nine nifty hacks to get your dream internship.

1. Get Started Early

If you’re a freshman or sophomore and have a company in mind that you would love to work for, it’s never too early to start researching about it. There are plenty of opportunities for freshman and sophomores that you may not know about and it is important to begin this search early. Even if you don’t receive an offer during your first few years in college, companies like to see that you have had a consistent interest in them.

2. Ask Around

All people in the world are six degrees away from one another. In principle, it would only take you, six people, to have a connection with the Queen of England. The same is true for job opportunities. If you ask family, friends and teachers if they have any contacts with your company of choice, chances are, you can find someone. This is a great way to make connections. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there.

3. Do Your Research

Before you reach out to a company, make sure you know what they do, how they do it and why they do it. Companies rely on their culture and values and will be more inclined to have you be a part of their organization if your values align with theirs. Prepare some questions and show your passion for what they do and what you do. 

4. Find a Mentor

There are plenty of people who have been in the same position as you. Most people will be willing to help you out because it’s exactly what they would have wanted when they were on the hunt. You can ask a teacher who you’ve had a good relationship with or an adult who advises other organizations within your respective college.

5. Search for Recruiters

Networking on LinkedIn isn’t always enough. You may miss opportunities that aren’t listed if that is the only job search resource you use. A lot of companies post their recruiters’ emails on their website. Reaching out personally makes a good impression and gives you a better chance of finding key opportunities. Additionally, having someone who has seen your name before, even if in an email, will help exponentially helpful.

6. Have Your Elevator Pitch Ready

Life boils down to a few key moments, and running into an employee of your dream company is one of them. Thirty seconds is all you need to impress someone, get a business card and start an ongoing relationship. Having a perfected elevator pitch and being able to give it at a moment’s notice will be a huge asset when life gets lucky, and you find yourself trapped in an elevator with an influential figure.

7. Perfect Your Resume

Recruiters only spend about seven seconds looking at your resume, so you want to make sure that it catches their eye. Make the format clear and organized, but make sure it is unique enough to catch a recruiters’ eye. Lead with your most impressive and recent experience and add any numbers that you can to your resume.

8. Make Your Cover Letter Personal

Don’t just make a cookie cutter cover letter to send to every company. Make sure you personalize it with specifics about the job description and how you will be an asset to that position. Take your time and make sure there aren’t any grammar or spelling errors. How much effort you put in reflects how important the company is to you, so make it a priority!

9. Get Creative

If you have a special skill, don’t be afraid to show it. It isn’t all about the experience. Employers these days are looking for diversity and unique qualities. For instance, if you are applying for a marketing internship but are a talented artist, include your portfolio in your application. You never know what special skills you have may be a benefit to the company.

Follow these nine steps, and you’re sure to land your dream internship in no time!

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SC Contributor

South Carolina

Bri Hamlin

South Carolina '19

Hello, it's Bri (to the tune of Adele please). I am a senior at USC Columbia and am not currently thirty, flirty, and thriving, but twenty-one, anxious, and trying will sure do.