About two months ago, I set out in search of an internship to complete while finishing my last semester of college. Although the prospect of finding not just any internship, but one I was passionate about, was exciting, I found myself very overwhelmed. However, I was able to work through the stress of the application process and am proud to say that I was just hired as a spring intern for my top choice internship.
If you are interested in finding an internship or are currently in the process of doing so, here are a few tips to make life a little bit easier.
1. Perfect Your Resume
This is often the first impression companies get of you, so it is a huge part of landing the internship of your dreams. Always be sure to have multiple people proofread your resume (even if you are an English major,) because after reading the same thing over and over, you are bound to miss tiny mistakes. Also, make sure that your resume contains "buzz words" that are related to the position you are looking for. For companies that use electronic scanning as part of their interview process, buzz words will make your resume stand out from the pile.
2. The Cover Letter
Cover letters are meant to compliment your resume, not be an identical copy of it. The cover letter allows you to share how your qualities as a person enhance the professional skills you have, making you a strong candidate for positions. Avoid words/ phrases that are overused, like "hard-working," and go for words that are unique to you. This is also a chance for you to express why you are applying to a certain company. Always be sure to do research on the company you are applying for and state what initially attracted you to the position and the company as a whole. This can also be a way to set yourself apart from other candidates.
The hardest part of the application process in't actually sending out the applications; it's finding where you could see yourself thriving and growing. I am a firm believer in only applying to positions that spark genuine enthusiasm and excitement within you. That being said, don't be quick to count companies out. Just be sure to research them and see if it seems like a place that fits you as an individual.
4. Don't Be Discouraged
You may not hear back from every company that you apply to, and that's okay. Don't allow this to make you feel any less about what you have to offer. Try to remain optimistic and confident. Keep an open mind and know that things work out for a reason and sometimes the best experiences are the ones we never see coming.
5. The Interview
So a company contacts you and wants to schedule an interview, now what? First, take a deep breath and congratulate yourself. Not everyone has the opportunity to interview, but you were selected. Second, schedule your interview on a date that still gives you a little time to prepare. Third, learn to talk about yourself! This may seem strange, but it is the key to having a successful interview. Take time to think about the professional experiences and characteristics you have that make you a strong candidate for the job. Allow yourself to be confident and proud of what you have already accomplished, while remaining open to all of the growth that a new position could bring to your life. Lastly, make sure you have an outfit that is professional and appropriate, so that the hiring managers know that you are serious about the position.
6. Have Confidence
Whether you get an interview and internship or not, BE CONFIDENT. You are a unique individual and good things will come your way. Trust that you will end up where you are supposed to be when the timing is right. In the meantime, don't give up on what you want and continue to take whatever steps you can to present yourself in a positive light.