The semester is ending, which means its the time to apply for summer internships. Internships are gateways to your career: while working, you have the chance to see if the field you plan on working in is what you truly want to pursue. Because of how competitive and prestigious many internships are, it can be nerve wrecking applying and interviewing for positions. However, that shouldn't be the case. Internship positions are not intended for experts; interns are expected to learn skills and gain experience while with a company. With that being said, here are a few things to keep in mind when applying and interviewing for internships.
1. Apply for as many internships as you can.
And if multiple places ask you to come in for an interview, go for them! Weigh your options and consider which place and position could be most beneficial for you at the moment.
2. Even if you think it's a long shot for you to get an interview of the position, apply.
You don't know what a company is looking for. Most of the time, online job descriptions posted do not acknowledge everything an employer is looking for. Don't hold back from applying if you think that a company is looking for people with more education, more experience, or more-rounded students. You are more qualified than you think.
3. Be careful how you answer questions on the application.
An application, like a resume, is one of the few resources an employer has to look at prior to selecting potential interns. Make sure you market yourself as a professional person, rather than a careless, easy going student looking for a job or internship anywhere you can get one.
4. Keep your education in mind when you're asked how many years of experience you have thus far.
My boss was recently giving me tips for future job positions and internships, and she told me something that I had never known: your education counts as experience!! When you're asked how many years experience you have with knowing and using skills, softwares, tools, etcetera, your education counts. Experience is not restricted to skills acquired after school.
5. Get feedback from others on your resume.
Don't just make a generic one from online; talk to your family members, friends, or school's career center and ask for help crafting a unique resume. While you're at it, make sure your job experience and skills that are highlighted on your resume help show your value for the position you're applying for. If that means having multiple resumes and choosing which resume best fits a certain position, so be it. And just as important, make sure there are no grammar mistakes and that there are no formatting differences.
6. Dress professionally when you go for interviews.
You want to show that you clean up nice and that you are aware of what is presentable for a company versus what is messy. Remember that as an intern, you are representing the business. You want to do so in a clean, memorable matter.
7. Bring your resume when you go to interviews!!!
This is something I did not know when I interviewed for my internship, and I felt very embarrassed when I showed up without my resume. I assumed that since I already submitted a resume, they would have a copy with them. Never assume that!
8. Bring examples of your work to the interview, if possible.
My mom made a portfolio of my writing, which came in very handy when I interviewed for an internship position as a writer. Bringing my portfolio, and sending a link to my online portfolio after my interview, was a great way to show my work and my potential value for the position.
9. If you don't already know a skill or a software that an interviewer would like you to know, tell the interviewer that you're a quick learner and you're excited to further your skills while in the position.
Honestly, an internship (or a job) is what you make of it. If you don't know something prior to starting the position, it's okay!! You'll learn eventually, which will make the internship all the more rewarding for you. Internships are, after all, a place of learning in the real world rather than through textbooks and courses. Most places will be understanding, and will be glad to hear that you are excited to learn new skills while working with the company.
10. Be confident in your work and your worth.
Confidence speaks wonders.
11. Always show your respect and appreciation.
Even if you do not receive an interview or a position, send your thanks. You never know if you'll apply for an internship or a job with a company or a professional in the future, and you never know if your thanks will stand out.