The Do’s and Don'ts of Searching for your First Internship

Spring semester is typically the time of year when students begin applying to summer internships and start taking offers.

While this part of your college career can induce a lot of anxiety and stress, it’s important to be mindful in your search process and to know what must be done when choosing places to apply.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is perfect for networking and showing off your skills and experience.

You’d be surprised at how many recruiters may stumble upon your LinkedIn profile, so it’s crucial that you have always it intact and looking sharp.

Get rid of the portrait from senior year of high school and get a real and professional photo taken for your profile picture.

Many people go wrong by basically copying and pasting their resumé to their LinkedIn profile.

There are differences when constructing your resumé and your LinkedIn profile.

Your online profile can be longer and broader than a one-page resumé.

With LinkedIn, you can also attach projects and research to your profile to showcase what you did in your description.

This is the time to brag about yourself and your accomplishments!

Your LinkedIn should be ever-growing and longer than what can be placed on a resumé.

It’s important to make your summary statement something to remember.

It should go beyond “I’m a student at X university studying X major and searching for an internship.”

This isn’t a grasp to recruiters.

Give them a summary statement that will intrigue them to read deeper into your profile.

Mention your skills and experience and how it will benefit the company you’re applying for.

Resumé

First thing’s first: Do not include a photo and make sure your resumé is one page only.

As mentioned earlier, your LinkedIn can be longer, but when it comes to your resumé, it must be up to date and shorter.

Your resumé should contain important skills, education, objectives and a list of experiences that make you qualified for the position you’re applying for.

The career connections center at the University of Florida is a wonderful tool that students should take advantage of.

You can get your resumé, LinkedIn and cover letters critiqued! 

Interviewing

When the first round of interviews comes up, it’s important to do your research on the company you’re applying for.

This will allow you to not only familiarize yourself with the company, but also help you see how you can play a role in the position, too.

If the person asks what you know about the company and you don’t have much to respond with, this won’t look good on your end.

Companies want to see how eager you are to potentially work for them.

Tell them about your accomplishments, your obstacles and your knowledge.

Again, this is the time to hype yourself up and brag about what you worked so hard for. 

When it comes to searching for your first internship, it’s important to keep an open mind during the whole process.

Maybe the company you got an offer from wasn’t your first choice, and maybe it won’t be a paid internship, but what’s important is getting that hands-on experience that will help you score that dream internship of yours in the future.