5 Tips For Young Professionals Seeking an Internship
Finding a position that’ll add to your resume, not just use up your summer.
The current job market is extremely competitive for recent college grads, and internships help them stand out with future employers. Finding an internship that fits your personality and teaches you transferrable skills is important to make sure you get the most out of your experience. A valuable internship should offer education, practical work experience, and the opportunity to grow as a young professional.
So how exactly do you find an internship where you aren’t just making coffee runs and filing papers?
Forbes provides valuable tips to consider when looking for the perfect internship that suits you both personally and professionally.
Things to Consider:
- What are your values?
- Exactly what is it that you want to gain from this experience?
- What type of environment do you thrive in?
- How far are you willing to travel?
- Do you have the proper transportation?
- Is the internship paid or unpaid?
Tip #1: Networking
Networking is an important part of finding an internship. Reach out to both your personal and professional contacts to see if you know anyone that works at the companies in which you are applying. Use sites like LinkedIn to see if you know anyone who knows anyone, it could help you get a foot in the door.
Tip #2: Develop a great cover letter, resume, and sample of your work
Develop a cover letter, resume, and any other application materials that the company requires. Your resume may be a single page with limited experience but include positions held in school, organizations you’ve worked with, and examples of projects you’ve been a part of. Peak their interest for best results.
Tip #3: Research the Company
Remember that it is important to research the company. Check them out on LinkedIn, Facebook, or just google their name. You can find all kinds of information to determine if they’re a company you want to work for, and what challenges they are facing. Come up with questions that directly connect to their reality to impress your interviewer with your level of interest.
Tip #4: Rock the Interview
Once you have secured an interview, professional dress is crucial until someone tells you otherwise. Arrive to the interview a few minutes early to make sure you have enough time to find where you are supposed to be. If the interview is relatively close it may be wise to drive there a few days prior to the interview to avoid getting lost the day of.
Always make sure to look the person interviewing you in the eye, be confident and have good posture. Make sure to ask them questions that show them that you are eager about the position. Ask the interviewer about next steps and the time frame in which they expect to make their decision. This information will tell you when a good time to follow-up about the position.
Tip #5: Follow-Up
An email is an acceptable way to follow-up with an employer after the time frame that they gave you. If they advised you to call this may also be acceptable. Handwritten notes are not as common with the increasing use of technology, but will certainly help you stand out against other candidates. Mashable provides expert tips on following up, including what NOT to do.
If you are offered the position make sure to respond to the offer in a timely manner. If you are not offered a job do not get discouraged. Every interview is a learning experience and better prepares you for the next one.
Good luck finding an internship, the experience will be more than worth it!
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