Deciding to get an internship is easy, finding one can be much harder. However, with the proper tools, any student or prospective job hunter can find the perfect internship for them.
Paid and Unpaid Internships
Before beginning the internship search it is important to have an idea of whether the person is looking for a paid or unpaid position. If possible, it is best for students to keep their options open. If a student can afford to work without pay, then this might be advisable.
Many companies only take on student interns because they offer unpaid labor. Without this advantage, a student searching for a position might be at a disadvantage. However, if students are unable to afford to work unpaid, they should not be afraid that they will not be able to find a position, they may simply have to cast a wider net in order to find the perfect intern job for them.
Deciding on an Internship Field
Before students begin a job search they should narrow down the field that they want to work in. In many cases, the career that they might be interested in will be closely tied to their field of study. For instance, an English major might pursue opportunities working at a publishing house or a magazine, while an Economics major might choose to accept employment at a banking company or stock broker.
If students have no specific idea about what field they are interested in for the future based on their major, they may want to consider their other interests. Students who love to play the guitar could one day make fantastic music scouts or record company executives, or someone who spends their free time watching movies might go into the film industry.
Building an Internship Resume
Most employers will not expect college students to have strong resumes, but most will still want to see some kind of resume. Students should include past work experience, relevant campus activities, related classwork, and skills or talents that may be applied during the course of the work experience. The internship resume can be around a page long, and should highlight a student’s best qualities.
Keep resumes simple and clean – employers want to know a student’s qualifications, they are not interested in fancy fonts or layouts.
Use Campus Resources
College students should make use of all of the resources available to them on campus in order to find an internship. Most colleges offer aid to students looking for positions through a career services office, which will often have listings of past internships completed by students at the college. The college may also be able to put students into touch with alumni in relevant fields.
Internship Search Networking
Students should use every resource available to them: family, friends, and acquaintances. Students should get in touch with everyone they know who work in their field of interest, and inquire about opportunities in their field.
In their article “How to Find Your Ideal Internship,” QuintCareers.com emphasizes the importance of networking when students are looking for internships.
Applying for Internships
Apply to as many opportunities as possible. Many internships are very competitive, meaning that the more internships a student applies for, the more likely they will be to land a spot where they will be happy.
When applying for internships it is important to consider a wide variety of factors including the strength of the resume, campus resources that are available to students, and whether the student is seeking a paid or unpaid internship. Internships can be a great way to build experience and explore potential career fields.