How To Score A Fall Internship

Getting a fall internship isn’t hard if you you do what must be done! It is certainly a process and one that will return more rejections than acceptances. I’ve had six internships in my life, so I know a lot about navigating the world of busy work, missed opportunities, networking and those fulfilling moments where you actually get to do something. I’ve had internships where I was a shining star and ones where I didn’t make an impression at all. Internships, in this day and age, are essential to getting a job. It is imperative that you know they will give you an edge over other candidates when you are looking for real work. Internships show that you have an interest in something, that you are capable of doing things and that you are mature enough to navigate the work environment of your field.

Here’s how to score a fall internship, so that you won’t be panicking in September and curling in the fetal position with a bottle of wine because you don’t know what to do with your life.

Do Your Research First

Go to your college or university’s website and find out what the terms of acquiring an internship are. Can you receive credit? Do you need certain documentation? Are only certain businesses and corporations allowed in order for you to receive credit? Does your school connect you with internships or is it up to you to seek them on your own? Does the internship have to be within the interest of your major? Make sure you answer all logistical and administrative questions before you proceed. The last thing you want is to get your hopes up for something you won’t be able to have.

Tweak Your Resume

Yep, more research.  Here’s a CC post on resume writing tips! I re-did my resume a bazillion times when I was looking for internships and jobs. There is a lot of new information about formatting your resume and tailoring it to your field. Most large companies, nowadays, use computer systems that scan your resume for certain key phrases, so if you don’t have those phrases, your resume could be dismissed even if you are qualified.

Use Your Resources To Find Internships

Email your favorite professors, use your university’s career center, ask friends and family and check company websites for openings. Or go maverick, I got my first internship just by emailing the company and asking. Some companies do not solicit interns or have official internship programs, but if you are eager, honest and confident they may just let you help out.

Craft The Perfect Cover Letter

First and foremost, do not write one generic and vague cover letter to send to every single internship you apply to. Hiring managers will see through that. Be sure to name the exact position you see in the ad and the company. Give reasons specific to that place that you would like to work there. Yes, you love fashion so of course you want to intern at Vogue, but what about Vogue’s history and editorial voice speaks to you specifically? Here’s a CC post on how to craft a great cover letter.

Apply A LOT

Apply to at least 20 internships. Remember it’s you and, like, everybody else. Even if you are an exceptional candidate, there are many others who are qualified too. Furthermore, there are so many random variables that go into internship selection (including nepotism, unfortunately). Don’t miss out on an internship because you expected to qualify for another one.

Apply NOW

It’s late July so you should be getting into gear. Many companies are already looking for fall interns so don’t miss out on snagging the one of your dreams. Usually these things are first come, first serve too, although they don’t say that. Carve out an hour or two each day to apply to internships until you get hired.

Here are some excellent resources for finding internships!

Ed 2010

Intern Sushi

Intern Match

Intern Queen

Let us know in the comments, where is your dream fall internship?

[Image via Shutter Stock / Dragon Images]

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