Top three tips for interns: 3. How to land your dream internship

Posted on 9/9/2014 by Lydia Baehr Public Relations in Facebook Social Media social Internships Career Advice
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You are ready to start your senior year and looking forward to graduating. There might be one last crucial “to-do” on your list – landing an internship.

An internship might set you apart from other applicants. It tells your future employers that you have a work ethic and gained a learning experience outside the classroom. Internships are a way for you to develop the skill sets and experience in your related field while making connections at the same time. Not only will employers be impressed with the experiences you have gained in your internship, it is also a way for you to get a behind the scenes look at your chosen field.

So you have an internship or two in mind, and you assembled the clothes that make you “dress to impress.” Now, how do you land that internship?

  • Research the companies you are applying for: Not only will you figure out if the company is a best fit for you, but it will help you in your interview process to ask questions about the company. Most companies will have an “About Us” page where you can start your research.
  • Update your résumé: Recruiters and employers will always ask for the most recent copy of your résumé. Do not be that student or graduate that has to say, “Sorry, I sent you the wrong copy of my résumé.” So before you send in your résumé, submit it to your school’s career services where others can look at it.

                                 

  • Include a cover letter in your application: Many college students or recent graduates who are trying to get into the workforce may not think to include one with their application. A cover letter tells the employer that you are specifically applying for the position.
  • Remember your favorite history professor when you were a sophomore? You do not have to include references on your résumé, but employers might ask you for a few. Always ask permission to use someone as a reference.
  • Think about what an organization is looking for: A prospective employer wants to know what you bring to the table. At the interview, think of how can you be a value to the organization.
  • Do not forget about volunteer work or extracurricular activities: You can stand out from other applicants. These activities tell a prospective employer a lot about you. It is never too late to join student organizations or get involved in volunteer work – check your campus website or student association for volunteer or student organizations to join or look at websites such as Volunteers of America to get connected locally. Do not just join; think about taking on a leadership position within the organization.

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  • Think about joining trade organizations: If volunteer work or student organizations are not your cup of tea, think about joining trade organizations such as the Public Relations Student Society of America or the Association for Business Communications.
  • Got anything embarrassing on your social media? You might want to see what the rest of the world can see.

                                 

  • Pay attention to detail: Proofread, proofread, proofread.
  • Practice, practice, practice: The more interviews you do, the better you will be.

The “real world” is not that scary or intimidating. Prepare as best as you can ahead of time and realize you may not fit in every organization and you may not be their number one choice.Your college experience is only a stepping-stone of what is yet to come, so embrace it! Even if you have already graduated, you are already one step ahead of the game – your toes are barely touching the shallow end, and it is time for you to get your feet wet. So dive in.

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