So you’ve got less than two months left of the school year and zero plans for a summer internship. Crap?
It may seem like it’s too late to find something fantastic to pad that resume, but there are still plenty of internships out there just waiting to be filled. You just need to find the one you want and then make sure you set yourself apart from the other internship hunters as the best person for the job.
With all that competition, scoring that coveted internship can be hard, but there are a few key things you can do to help. We sat down with Colleen Sabatino, Internship Coach over at Internships.com, to find out exactly what you need to be doing to land that dream summer internship. Keep these things in mind and you’ll be interning in no time.
Know What You’re Applying For:
“Most students don’t take the time to carefully review the internship description and requirements before submitting an application. If you spend time matching your education and experience with the requirements for the position, you’ll go a long way towards getting the internship.”
Tailor Your Cover Letter:
“Express your enthusiasm for the company & position and highlight the education and experience you bring that are a match for what the company is looking for in an intern. Use the company’s internship description and position requirements as a guide and try to include keywords that are company or industry related.”
And Keep It Simple:
“Your cover letter should highlight only those items that support your candidacy for the internship – don’t mention background/experience that the company isn’t seeking.”
Edit and Focus Your Resume:
“Include your educational and work history – start with whichever is the best match for the internship. For example, if you are applying for a marketing internship and you’re studying marketing in school but have never worked in marketing, start with your education and include courses that relate to the position. If you DO have work experience in marketing, then start with your experience and follow with your education.
Also, include any outside activities (volunteer, association, project, etc.) that support your background for the internship. In our previous example, if you’re a member of the American Marketing Association, include that – it supports your qualifications for the marketing internship.
Don’t include every project or assignment you’ve ever done at school and work. You want those items that match the company’s needs to stand out – keep the resume focused on those items.
Prior to submitting your resume, do your research. Know the company’s industry, the products/services it provides, where it’s located, etc. If the listing you’re applying to doesn’t give a company contact, track one down! Call the company and ask for the name of the Human Resource Manager or the most likely hiring manager depending on the internship (e.g. Marketing Manager, Finance Manager, Sales Manager, etc.). Once you have a contact, take the initiative and use them as the first point of contact for follow up – if they aren’t the correct contact, chances are they can put you in touch with the appropriate contact.