Summer internships can make or break your career. Every entry-level job is looking for experience to back up a hiring decision. These eight simple steps will help you get the summer internship of your dreams, so take notes!
1. Start early
It’s never too soon! Most internships are posted between October/November and February, so start looking ASAP. It never hurts to stay ahead of the game, and if you wait too long you might miss your opportunity. Find companies that you’d like to work for and don’t be afraid to email the executives and ask if they have an internship program.
2. Re-vamp that resume
The average person only spends three seconds looking at a resume, so make yours eye catching. Make sure it is one clean page and has only relevant experiences in an easy-to-read fashion but shows off who you are. Include your best talents, skills, and recognitions. Spending time on your resume shows that you are dedicated.
3. Remember social media is your friend
We all hear about LinkedIn, but how important is it really? LinkedIn can help you foster those connections with people -- especially alumni -- in your industry. Keep it updated and get endorsements. If you’re going into a social media-savvy industry, make sure to keep up on Facebook and Twitter and keep them professional. You may not want the CEO of NBC to see those drunken pictures of you from that frat party last weekend. Everyone’s watching!
4. Keep your friends close, and your professors closer
Many applications require a letter of recommendation -- and who better to give you one than a professor who has worked in your field? Try to foster a good relationship with your professors and let them see your shining moments! They’ll be able to write a glowing recommendation that could just help you land that internship.
5. Take advantage of those career services emails and websites
Yes, we all get those annoying emails from the career services centers every day. But have you ever actually looked at them? They keep you up to date on all of the internship deadlines approaching and inform you of new ones popping up! They could just lead you right to the perfect summer internship.
6. Have a creative cover letter
Some companies will look at your cover letter and then decide to either continue to your resume or to throw you right into that dreaded garbage can of joblessness. Your cover letter should briefly say why you are interested in the company and what you can specifically bring to the table, and it should include experience examples to back that up. Don’t be afraid to get your brag on!
7. Do your research
If you don’t know much about a company, why would you want to work there? Make sure you do your research about the organization, understand the culture and get to know the profiles of the head honchos before applying. Showing that you’re interested is a large part of getting the job, and being able to demonstrate that you really know the organization shows dedication and interest.
8. Network, network, network
Everyone you know knows someone else. Share your interests with family and friends so they can help connect you to someone who can make your dream summer internship come true. Don’t be afraid to reach out to people and start a conversation! A conversation might just turn into an interview.
Kayla Elizabeth Moran is currently a student at Syracuse University studying Advertising and Marketing Management, with an emphasis in digital creative advertising. Upon graduation, she aspires to be an art director at a digital advertising agency. While still a student, she has worked on advertising, media and marketing projects with companies such as 360i, MediaCom and ProLiteracy Worldwide. Kayla lives in Binghamton, New York.
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