Aatina K. Shaikh
Spring Break has come (and gone for some) and people are onto the next subject—summer plans. Some will be traveling, some will be taking a much-needed break, and others are thinking about their summer internships. An internship over the summer can help boost a resume immensely for the future—when it comes time to apply for your ultimate career. Seeing internship experience in a related field can often give employers a sense of security that shows you have experience within the field and have maintained your interests over the past few years.
👩🏽💻 Where To Find An Internship
There are many different places a person can turn to when looking for internships. One of the easiest and most convenient methods is by asking the people around you. Often, there are people in your circle who are in the industry or know someone who is. Employers are more likely to make a position for you if they know who you are and see you are someone with the potential to improve their company. I recommend this method if possible because it is much easier to receive the internship when one of your connections is able to link you with the opportunity.
If there aren’t people you can ask, or this option simply didn’t work for you, LinkedIn is a great place to turn to. Make sure your LinkedIn is up to date and you are paying attention to it like any other social media platform. The more active you are, the more likely you are to benefit from it. LinkedIn tends to have job posts directly from employers while also allowing for an easy application process that can be completed through the LinkedIn site directly. As long as you have your resume uploaded, LinkedIn may even help fill out some spaces within the application to simplify the process for its users. If you have connections on LinkedIn, you may also be able to find an internship through someone else.
Author’s Note: LinkedIn has been successful for me. I applied to an internship through a post from a 2nd connection recommending their previous summer internship to others.
Lastly, if neither of the previous methods work, a simple Google search can yield favorable results. Search with your city as a keyword to narrow down the opportunities (or “Remote” if looking for a remote opportunity). It will take a while to sift through what seems best for you, however, make sure to play around with the filters so everything that is put in front of you is catered to your wants and needs. One thing to keep in mind is whether or not you want a paid or unpaid internship. There is no right answer as it depends on your circumstances and preferences. If you require a source of income to pay for school, bills, or any other responsibilities, a paid internship may be the way to go for you, though options may be limited. If finances are not a problem, an unpaid internship is an option, though you will be working for free, which isn’t something everyone is comfortable with. Think through which option is best for you before applying to or accepting an internship.
Editor’s Note: The purpose of an internship is to invest in yourself and grow your skills. If an unpaid internship can offer you an opportunity of a lifetime, make that investment in yourself! Unpaid internships may even free scholarship opportunities you can apply for.
📑 How To Prepare:
It’s important to have a current resume that caters to the internship you are applying to. Often, people will have a long list of experiences they can list, however, it’s important to pick the most relevant ones in order to avoid having a ginormous (and overwhelming) resume. A resume longer than two pages is typically unfavorable, ano a one-page resume is recommended. There are many different templates that are available online and on Google Docs. My personal favorite is the “Serif Resume” template on Google Docs. There are many other places to find templates for resumes though, so don’t feel limited to Google Docs. Canva has a wide array of resume templates to browse through. Try to find something that matches you and that looks visually appealing, while also not overdoing it. Click here to view my favorite Canva resume template and cover letter. When crafting resumes, play around with the colors if the default ones don’t speak to you. I personally changed the colors of my headings to my favorite color because it made me more confident in my resume.
With a resume, there may be a need to add references or recommendation letters. Be sure to ask people in advance before placing their information into your resume or giving out their contact in any form. Politely send an email or speak with them in person about being a reference for an internship or to write a letter of recommendation for you. Mare sure the person knows you well enough to be able to vouch for you.
Editor’s Note: Have a brag sheet filled out to give out to your references.
After you have submitted your applications, you may be contacted for an interview with someone within the company or department you’ve applied for. It’s important to be prepared for any questions that come your way. Having concise answers that showcase who you are as an individual is important. When practicing answers, it can be helpful to simulate a mock interview with someone you know. A parent, friend, or someone you know within the industry would suffice in giving feedback regarding your answers and the demeanor you hold through your mock interview. If you are a bit nervous or find this to be embarrassing, no worries—I feel you. Try to practice answering questions in the mirror or aloud in your own room. It helps to voice your responses prior to an interview. (Reference my go-to list of of possible interview questions here.) It’s also important you are informed about the company. Do some research on them before your interview. Often, they will ask a question that pertains to what you like about the company or why you would like to work for that company over their competitor companies.
Remember, applying to internships can definitely be a hassle. You will have to apply to a lot of internships in hopes of receiving a callback or an interview. Don’t be discouraged. If a certain internship is meant for you, it will come your way. A company extending an offer or deciding not to says nothing about your worth. Keep applying to internships and putting your best foot forward in order to have the best shot at landing an internship! Good luck in your endeavors!
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