If you’ve checked out my previous posts, you would have seen one about making the perfect college resume (if you haven’t seen it, check it out here). Now, my college ladies and gents, let’s talk about getting those opportunities that you can put on your resume and the best ways to landing an internship!
Internships are great ways to gain experience in the workforce! Although some (most) internships are unpaid, you gain the much needed experience that other employers will be excited to see on your resume! As I approached my senior year in college, there was a lot of pressure to have more experience up my sleeve. The more experience you have, the better you’ll look to future employers. Depending on your degree, finding an internship can be the best or worst thing you’ve ever done in your life.
WHERE TO FIND INTERNSHIPS
Once you’ve decided you want to do an internship, the hard part begins. Finding the internship. There are so many students out there are competing for minimal spots. It can be quite daunting! But have no fear! There are a couple of different places you can look for your internship – your school and online.
Campus Career Center
Your school’s career center more than likely has a list of internships available for each semester. Stop and talk with some of the guidance counselors there to get there opinions on 1) your resume and 2) the best programs for you!
Another area other than the career center would be your advisor or a head of the department you’re interested in. The professors at your campus are there to help you succeed, so never be afraid to ask for their help! They may even have an internship in mind for you that they can help you get!
If you have a company in mind, check out their website! They most likely have a listing of internships they have available and when you can apply for them. If that doesn’t work, here are a couple of websites that I’ve personally used to find internships and jobs:
CREATING THE PERFECT RESUME
Starting early on your resume is key here, no matter how much experience you have. Setting it up in a way to best represent you will help you get that interview, and ultimately, the job! Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Put your education at the top of your resume! Your education is important, so show it off. Since you’re applying for entry- level internships, employers will most likely understand why you don’t have much of a work history.
- Include awards you’ve won at your university (dean’s list, scholarships, etc). They show that you’re a hard worker!
- Make unrelated jobs you’ve done work for you! An example would be if you worked retail part-time, describe how it taught you to work well as a teammate and to work well under pressure individually.
- Do you have any interesting hobbies? I’m a fencer and started the fencing club at my university! I definitely put that on my resume and it was great for small talk with my interviewers!
ROCKING THE INTERVIEW
Interviews can be stressful and nerve wrecking. But, it shouldn’t have to be! I’ve been to my fair share of interviews and, to be honest, they’ve gotten easier and easier.
Here are a few do’s and don’ts for your interview!
- Maintain eye contact – Not to the point of making them uncomfortable! When speaking to your interviewer, let them know that they have your attention and you’re focused on the interview and them.
- Keep track of non-verbal communication. Confident body language can go a long way for you! It helps you make a good impression and leave a lasting impression. Have a firm handshake, stand up straight, and maintain that eye contact!
- Keep it professional! Make sure to dress the part – whether it’s formal or semi casual, make sure you know what to wear for your big day!
- Minimize the importance of small talk – If they ask about upcoming weekend plans, try telling them about a hobby or personal interest you have. Don’t talk about errands you have to run or that you have no plans.
- Be late!! This should be number one. Always be early to your interviews because arriving at the exact time is risky. A good rule of thumb is arriving at most 10-15 minutes before your interview. Check in with the receptionist and relax during this time before the actual interview.
- Go off track with your answers. They want to know that you can absorb information, understand the details that matter, and can make smart decisions on your own!
Lastly, the most important advice I can give you is to just be confident! Be confident in yourself, in your abilities, and in your education. Some employers might see you as the right fit and some might not. It doesn’t mean you’re not worth it!
Good luck to all of you out there! Applying can seem rough at times, but in the end, you’re doing it for you!
What are your best tips for finding and landing an interview? Leave it in the comments below!