Career experience seems to be a requirement for all jobs these days, making it difficult for students fresh out of college to find work. This experience requirement is especially hard for students entering a career path in which they have few connections for networking and finding internships. In this article, I’ll outline my top tips that helped me land an internship despite having few connections.
- Social media is your best friend!
Many people utilize social media as a tool for connecting with their friends, but it also can be helpful for finding internships! Through social media (I found Facebook to be the most helpful), you can create a post that explains that you are looking for internships. You can list your major, general qualifications, and your intended career path. From there, your friends can share the post! You never know what professional connections your followers may be able to help you create!
- Don’t be afraid to make some phone calls
Making phone calls to potential employers can show your interest in an internship position! It also gives you the chance to introduce yourself, let an employer ask questions, and help you evaluate if a specific internship would be the right fit for you.
- Be deliberate in resume crafting
Read the job descriptions for your desired internships! Does your resume reflect your strengths that match the job description? As you create your resume, you should consider prior experience, skills, and honors that may match what employers are searching for. By doing so, you increase the chance of receiving an interview.
- Write a cover letter
While your resume tells an employer the specific experience and skills that may qualify you for an internship position, a cover letter is your chance to really pitch yourself! Tell a story. Why did you apply to this internship? How will hiring you benefit the company? What skills do you bring to the table? A cover letter is your chance to set yourself apart from other applicants.
- utilize alumni networks
If your school has a strong alumni network, this can be a great resource for finding internships! Try to connect with alumni who have the same major or career path as yourself. You can usually locate these alumni through social media, professors, or campus career advisors.
- Look beyond traditional career websites
While job sites like Indeed, Glassdoor, and ZipRecruiter are beneficial for finding jobs, it is often difficult to locate internship opportunities on these sites, especially for undergrad students. Therefore, I recommend doing your own research about certain companies that you would like to intern for and visiting their websites to search for employment opportunities.
Many companies have specific pages for career and internship opportunities. When looking for these openings, you can use your preferred search engine and type the name of your company with “careers” at the end. This will often bring up the company’s career page where you can browse openings and read more about the company.