Interning is a great learning experience that can help you find out more about a field and if you will enjoy it as a career. Finding an internship in your field can be competitive, but we have some tips to help you get the attention of the right employers and rise to the top of the candidate’s list.
Do Your Research.
As we mentioned in a previous post, be sure to visit a company’s website, Google for news articles on them, and visit their social media pages and LinkedIn page. Make sure you understand what the company does, what its mission is, and how you can contribute to that.
Polish Your Online Presence.
In 2022 it is easier than ever to build a website yourself, even if it’s just one page. It should have your bio, background, a few photos, and if you have one, a digital portfolio of related projects from school. Also, remember that your social media pages should reflect your best self. When in doubt, set your pages to private, and go through Facebook and change the privacy settings on photo albums. Potential employers don’t need to see every picture you’ve ever taken at a party.
Order Business Cards and Hand Them Out.
Business cards are fairly cheap these days, and can even include a QR quote that could lead people to your website. Going to networking events will help you make contacts who could offer you an internship or become a mentor while getting your face and name out in the community. Having a business card ready to hand out makes you look like you are professional and put together. You really don’t want to hand a potential boss your email written on a napkin.
Go Old School.
You may have applied for the internship or job online, but if you want to be memorable follow up with snail mail. Mail them a physical copy of your resume, put it on thick, good-quality paper. Maybe it’s 11”x17” and it folds into 8.5”x11” like a brochure. Visual aids are always good. Have some professional pictures taken, or have a friend help. Tell them about you as a person, that’s how you really stand out in the crowd.
Scheduling an Interview.
If you’re trying to land an internship in another city or state when you reach out give them a period of time you will be in their town so that you can nail down a time to meet. Even if you don’t have a flight yet, it gets the ball rolling and helps you take control to land a meeting. These days, Zoom interviews are often the first step, so be sure to set up your background. Instead of blurring your background, set up a bookshelf or table to showcase books and items that relate to your field, and some personal favorites mixed in. People love a picture of a dog! Never a bad move to throw in something personal that showcases your personality and makes you stand out.
Finding an internship may feel daunting, but remember that persistence pays off. Be memorable, and go follow your dreams!