This article was written by our marketing intern, Landon Campbell. At the time of publishing, he had just finished his first year of college. Here, he draws upon his own first-year experiences to share his tips on how to find the perfect internship.
Finding a job after college can be quite competitive. One way to set you apart from the competition is by gaining work experience through college internships. Employers look for unique experiences that could benefit their business. Not only can college internships provide that edge an employer might be searching for, they can also show you what it’s like to work in the field you are considering for the rest of your life.
Here are four tips to help land the perfect internship.
1. Build a solid resume
The first draft of your resume should never be the version you show potential employers. Your resume needs to be clear and concise not only to you, but also to a fresh pair of eyes. Have someone proofread it for you, checking for sentence structure and spelling errors. Many colleges offer resume building seminars – take advantage of them.
2. Find the right internship
Apply for multiple opportunities - it is better to have options you can say yes or no to.
Look through the company’s website in depth to understand what they do. Take your time to formulate any questions you would want to ask during an interview.
Find an appropriate employee of the company that you can email your cover letter and resume to.
Stay away from internships that ask you for money in order to work for them. These tend to be scams or services you do not want to be involved with.
3. Take time searching for the best internship opportunities that would fit your needs.
Whether the position is paid or unpaid, apply for internships that would benefit your long-term goals while making your resume look stronger. When searching, follow these guidelines:
4. Give it your all in the interview
During an interview, employers are looking for three things: are you able to represent their company, do you have what it takes to manage the job, and are you going to take the position seriously. You want to sell yourself before, during, and after the interview. Here’s how:
Prior to the interview, research the company and know basic facts about its history and what they do. Checking out their website and a quick Google search for recent news will do the trick. After formulating that information, you should go into the interview with a list of questions.
Ask questions during the interview to show your interest in what they do and the position.
Be prepared to answer any question they throw at you. Look up practice interview questions on the internet and practice how you might answer them. Most questions will be centered on your employment and education experience; others will be about long-term goals.
Walk into the interview with confidence and dressed to impress. This will leave a positive impression.
Send a follow-up thank you note. A quick email should do the trick. Thank the interviewer for their time and summarize what your understanding is of the job and remind them why you will be a good fit.
Landing an internship during college can help with your future. Education and experience go together in creating a strong work ethic, which is needed in order to make your mark in the job sphere. The learning objectives you can develop from internships will stay with you for years to come. Think long-term when it comes to your future.