The right internship that matches your goals is a stepping stone to career growth. A good intern is a future manager, executive, and, perhaps, even CEO of a multinational corporation. So no pressure, but you should be as thorough when looking for an internship as you would be looking for a job. Follow this seven-step guide, and you’ll end up with the perfect internship in no time.
#1 If you’re serious about learning how to get an internship, research first
One of the first things you should do when looking for a good internship is to set your criteria and look for the companies that match them. You’ll need this to hire resume writing services, contact recruiters, and whatnot. For example, what is your preferred industry? Are there any well-known companies that are looking for interns? Does the location matter to you? Would you like to intern remotely or in the office?
Keep in mind that not all companies post their internship positions online for potential interns to submit their applications. If there is a company you would like to intern at, don’t be afraid to contact it via email or on social media, even if there is no internship listing online. By the way, the same goes for the job search. If you feel you’d match the requirements, show initiative and write first.
#2 Narrow down your list of desired internships
Now, narrow down your list. Find the information about the experiences and qualifications the companies you’re considering are looking for in their potential interns. If you don’t fit the criteria, cross the internship out of your list and move on. Don’t waste your and your potential employers’ time when you already know you aren’t a good match. There are tons of companies out there that will be happy to employ you as an intern!
If you’re interested in a very competitive internship, can’t find relevant information online, or don’t want to bother the recruiter with questions, use the power of networking. College career fairs are the best places you can do this as a student or recent graduate. Experts admit that while it’s all about LinkedIn these days, career fairs are still an awesome way for young professionals to find their dream job (as well as an internship).
#4 Get professional help with your resume and LinkedIn profile
You can probably write a half-decent resume yourself, but it’s not a good idea. When you’re wondering how to get an internship without much experience, professional help is the best answer. All job seekers have weaknesses, such as having only a high school diploma or lacking experience in writing a job application.
Moreover, a professional resume writer will ensure that your application includes all the necessary keywords and will pass the automation mechanisms companies are now using to filter candidates. Most importantly, a professional will help you present your skills and work experience (if any) in the best possible way to make you look like a perfect applicant.
#5 Write a fantastic cover letter (or 10)
Next, you’ll need to write cover letters. Don’t just write a standard one and send it to the dozen internship positions you’re considering—that’s a losing strategy. Instead, write a unique cover letter for each internship or job. This way, you’ll ensure that it’s properly personalized and shows genuine interest. Once again, don’t neglect professional writing help. It can be a game changer.
#6 Don’t be afraid to contact everyone and their dog
It rarely happens that an internship seeker is diligent with their research and resume writing. But still, if your perfectly written emails and cover letters haven’t worked out for you, try to use your contacts to land an internship. For example, consider writing to your professor and former classmates to ask if they know about any internship opportunities that match your career interests. You’d be surprised how often such proactivity lands jobs.
#7 Don’t be shy to remind about yourself
Finally, never be afraid of being too interested, especially when looking for an internship. Some recruiters recommend tempering your enthusiasm during an interview to have more negotiating power when discussing the future salary. But when you’re figuring out how to get an internship, there’s no such thing as too much interest. So feel free to double and triple email the companies you’d like to intern at. Stop once they’ve explicitly rejected you, though.
Finding an internship is often the first step toward getting employed for your dream position. So any job seeker dedicated to their career should take the internship search seriously. This includes doing your research, hiring professionals for help with your resume and cover letters, and learning how to sell yourself. But, don’t get discouraged—with preparation and persistence, you’ll get the internship you want soon enough.