That time of the year is rolling around again. We have to start thinking about our plans for the summer. Many students dread this time of the year because it means time for summer job and internship applications. Finding yourself meaningful work for the summer is no easy task.

It is extremely competitive, and in all honesty, it is sometimes just a numbers game with the number of applications you submit, but here are five tips that will help you maximize your time and efforts with the process.

1. Use your resources!

Parents, friends, relatives, professors, mentors, anyone can be a resource. The real world is really all about who you know. Making connections is incredibly important in helping to open doors for yourself. You would be amazed at how many people are willing to help college students in the search for internships. They might not be able to find you an internship or job themselves, but most likely they can connect with someone else who possibly can or even just offer advice, which is always helpful.

2. Constantly keep checking!

Companies are always making new internship and job postings. By just reminding yourself to stay on top of checking various websites and platforms, you can keep your options open. Another key in this is to follow companies you're interested in on platforms such as LinkedIn and Handshake, both of which make it very easy to search if companies made recent postings.

3. Take risks.

Sometimes a company won't directly post that they offer internship positions, but that doesn't necessarily mean they don't. Doing your research and sending an email to someone within the company you're interested in to ask for information not only can make the search process quicker but also shows how serious you are about them. It looks good to be curious and driven, so send that email!

4. Be persistent!

If you want something, then why not give it your all? Once you've sent a resume or filled out an application, you should consider sending an email just to let a recruiter know. This might seem silly, but it shows you are very interested and is a good way to get your name out there. Even if the recruiter doesn't directly go looking for your application, if they see it and have a remembrance for your name, it can do wonders.

5. Look for help within your school.

Almost every university has a career center or service center that can help you in your search. If they don't directly have an internship position to tell you about, they usually will still have places for you to look or people to connect with. They are also a great place to go to get help with your cover letter and resume. Oftentimes students overlook the university's services and try to do everything on their own, which isn't always necessary!

These aren't huge steps you need to take, but these little tips can help take the stress off. No one thinks the search for summer work is easy, so there are always going to be people willing to help. Hang in there and don't give up!