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How to land the internship you want

Veronica C. | March 6, 2014

How to land the internship you want

In this day and age, simply earning a degree doesn’t always get you the career you want right away. The applicant market has become very saturated with inexperienced, unemployed graduates looking for their first job out of college. The best way for graduates to set themselves up for post-college life is to land internships. Here are some helpful tips to get you on the right career track.

Sit down with career advisors
Many campuses offer career help, such as resume advice, for students about to graduate from college. It’s imperative that you take advantage of this free service while it’s still available to you. These advisors know the ins and outs of the working world and have abundant experience assisting students with finding potential internship opportunities. They’re closely connected to recruiters working on campus from both local and national organizations and can potentially land you interviews within their professional network.

Check, double- then triple-check your resume
There is nothing more unappealing to a recruiter than inconsistencies on a resume. Whether it’s spelling errors, grammar, word choice or any other kind of mistake, it’s essential that you look over your resume again and again. A great method is to type it up and scan it over once. Rather than check it over again the same day, set it aside and sleep on it. Go outside, read, hit the gym – do anything to distract yourself from looking at your resume. This helps clear your mind for the next time you decide to look it over. A fresh mind can really help you pick up on any mistakes you may have made the first time around. If your friends are open to it, have one or two of them read over your resume as well. Much as your mind may be clear, nothing beats a completely unbiased set of eyes and thoughts when it comes to resumes. Additionally, career advisors will help you draft and edit a resume to send out to recruiters. It’s important that your work history and experience is accurate because hiring managers don’t want to hear about how you oversaw “cash management” at your last job, when you were really the cashier at Burger King. One little embellishment can make a recruiter throw your resume out the window.

Conduct thorough research
Sitting down and looking at a company’s website for 15 minutes doesn’t count as adequate, thorough research. When you walk into an interview and discuss what attracted you to that particular business, you need to know the juicy details about them. You don’t want to just be interested in the single company, you want to be interested in all of their products and be decently knowledgeable about their competition. Look into any news stories the company may have been featured in or read reviews of their products to get an idea of who their average customer is. The interns who get noticed in interviews are the ones with their own frame of mind. A recruiter that sits down with a well-informed applicant who has clearly done thorough research is going to be impressed. Do yourself a favor and take the time to really research the company you’re applying to.

Network with fellow students and alumni
Connecting with other graduates and young professionals is a great method to potentially landing the internship you want. If you have a friend or classmate who is currently interning at a position or company that intrigues you, make an effort to reach out to them with questions. Chances are they won’t be setting you up with a similar role, but they will have a better understanding of the process when it comes to internships for college graduates. It’s also beneficial to network with your college’s alumni. Many career offices on college campuses make an effort to include alumni offices for students to utilize. Making an effort to connect with previous graduates can set you up nicely to learn about particular organizations or to hear about new opportunities within your desired industry. Graduates will be surprised at how strong the alum tie can be in the job market.

Don’t only look at summer
Far too often, graduates fall into the trap of thinking internships are meant for the summer when their schedule is wide open. But it’s far more beneficial to participate in an internship during the school year because it can lead to career improvements such as reference letters and future job offers. Rather than wait until May or June to interview for a potential job, land an internship during the school year and get a full-time position lined up before you even get your diploma.

Whatever your strategy may be, internships are a huge advantage for college graduates today. They not only expand your resume but also lead to networking opportunities and help you land your dream job. Start researching today for a better career opportunity tomorrow.

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Category: Career News, Careers, College Life, Internships, Interships

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