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Tips for Finding an Internship

By Julia Gormley
On April 20, 2018

Photo from: https://textiles.ncsu.edu/news/2017/08/boost-your-career-credentials-with-an-internship/

Internships are excellent ways to gain professional experience for your resume, while achieving personal growth both mentally and intellectually. With networking and experience being two of the most important things when entering the work force, it is important that students take advantage of opportunities while in school. The search for the right internship is daunting to say the least, but here are some aspects to remember when feeling stumped:

1. Update your cover letter and resume.

Many organizations and businesses require online application submissions, making your cover letter and resume their true first impression. Try standing out by changing the layout of your documents or add an accent color that makes the presentation more appealing. Content is equally important, so make sure to have peers edit your work. Since your cover letter content may need to change depending on the position, having different versions saved is useful in case quick action is needed to be taken.

2. Finding the right internship is going to take time.

More time than you think. Dedicating one hour a day to searching and applying for internships is a great start, but pay attention to application deadlines. Researching companies being applied for is also an important step. This helps you gain background information on the mission of the company as well as the type of work. Don’t become frustrated if you don’t hear back after a week of starting your search.

3. Extend your search beyond Google.

Websites like Internships.com are created to lessen the amount of time searching for internships. Resources like this allow applicants to find career related opportunities by searching keywords such as field of study. Search results can also be narrowed down by paid or unpaid, full time or part time and location. Don’t be afraid to utilize “taboo” search engines such as Craigslist, just do your research, and know how to spot a scam.

4. Get out of your comfort zone, and don’t narrow your searches too much.

Explore opportunities that may not specifically pertain to your degree. Experience is experience. After all, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. Don’t be afraid to open your searches up to opportunities across the country either. Many college students throughout the United States choose to sublet their apartments for the summer months when they go home, or to their own internships, often making rent super cheap. And yes, paid internships do still exist!

5. Most importantly, don’t give up and learn as much as you can!

Mixing a professional resume and cover letter, setting aside an appropriate amount of time and applying to a broad amount and variety of positions creates a recipe for success. Remember that your experiences don’t always have to be for college credit either. Professional experience to update your resume is an accomplishment in itself. 

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