How To Be Successful When Applying to Internships

Applying for internships can be an intimidating task, no matter how you look at it. You want to find the perfect internship for you so that you can get a little closer to finding your dream career, and while I completely understand where you’re coming from, that’s a lot of pressure to put on yourself. Although you want to take internship applications seriously, you don’t want to get too overwhelmed by the process. So, check out these tips that will make your search a little bit easier, but also help you be successful.

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1. Look everywhere.

While this may seem a bit stressful, use all of your resources to find internships. Visit platforms like Indeed, WayUp, LinkedIn, etc., but also talk to your friends, family, professors, and your network to find out about any opportunities. If there’s a specific company where you’re interested in interning, take a look at their website to inquire about any internship openings. In other words, the sky’s the limit.

2. Only apply to internships that interest you.

While mass applying to internships might seem like a good idea, it’s better to focus more time on the applications you really care about. You never want to rush through an application because you always want to put your best foot forward with any company. Dedicate a certain amount of time to an application, and don’t feel like you’ve got to apply to 10 internships a day. Take your time – you’ll make fewer mistakes that way.

3. Apply to internships you’re not qualified for.

While this may seem to contrast my previous point, it’s important not to let qualifications bog you down (too much). Most internships are meant to offer you experience, so if the job description says you need one year’s experience or that you need to be studying a specific major, apply for it anyway. You never know what might happen, and if it’s something that has caught your attention, it’s worth it, no matter what the outcome.

4. Keep applying to internships while you wait to hear back.

While you don’t need to go overboard, you want to make sure that you’re still applying while you wait to hear back from companies. There’s nothing wrong with keeping your options open, especially since you don’t know how long it will take to receive a response, that is if you do. Internships are competitive, so try not to take it too personally if some companies don’t get back to you. No one likes rejection, especially in reference to an internship they were really excited about, but the truth is, you’re not going to hear back about every internship you apply to, and that’s okay. Your skills and talent will be recognized, so you just have to keep applying to internships until you find the right one.

5. Cater your resume and cover letter to each application.

While doing this task may seem time-consuming, it will only help you in the long run. Because many applications are scanned by a computer before ever reaching a set of eyes, you want to make sure that certain keywords will be picked up by the computer. Use the wording that is provided in the job description in your application. Of course, you should never lie about your qualifications, but if you can mold your wording to fit the bill, there’s no reason not to put in that extra effort.

There are many steps you can take to help make your internship search more successful, but the most important takeaway is to do what works for you, and if you add these tips to your process, you’re bound to land that internship in no time.   


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