5 Ways to Make You a Sharper Candidate for an Internship

The competition for the best internships can be fierce! Follow these tips to find the best opportunities. Make yourself an irresistible hire, and you’ll land an awesome internship this summer.

1. Start Planning Early

Internships may not be on your mind early in the year, but waiting till the last minute will leave you scrambling to find something after the best opportunities are taken. If you want to land a truly awesome internship, start researching and preparing as early as possible.

2. Clarify Your Goals

You can’t find an awesome internship opportunity if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Make a list of your reasons for seeking an internship, and prioritize them. Give some thought to what type of internship you’re looking for: Do you need a paycheck, or can you swing an unpaid internship? Do you want college credit for your work?

3. Do Your Research

Now that you know what you want out of your internship, you can start looking for opportunities that match your goals. Make a list of companies you’d like to work for, and find out whether or not they have internship programs.

Once you have a list of internships you’d like to apply for, it’s time to start stalking the company online. Check out their website, subscribe to their blog or newsletter, and follow them on social media. Learn all you can about the company so you can find out what they’re looking for in an intern and position yourself to be hired.

4. Take Advantage of Your Network

Ask your family, friends, and your college to find out if anyone has connections at the companies you’d like to intern at. It’s a small world; you never know who you know until you ask. Let your connections know you’re interested in applying to the internship program there, and ask if they have any advice for you.

5. Make Yourself Irresistible

Your first impression in applying for the internship is going to be your resume, so make sure it’s up to date and shows you in your best light. Since your job history is probably not extensive at this point, think outside the box when it comes to what you can add to your resume. Share relevant skills you’ve developed on your own time, and any hobbies, sports, or clubs you belong to. Try to highlight anything that shows leadership skills.

First impressions are key in landing an awesome internship, so don’t forget to prepare for the interview as well. Have answers to common interview questions ready, and practice interviewing with friends and family so you can be confident at the actual interview. Remember to send a thank you note to your interviewer afterward.

Follow these steps and you’re sure to land an awesome internship this summer!

Sources:

Caprino, K. (2014, March 28). Forbes. Retrieved May 12, 2014, from Forbes

Hurley, A. (2010, March 25). Summer Internships: 6 Best Ways to Get One. CBSNews. Retrieved May 12, 2014, from CBS News