Guide to Finding a Summer Internship

An internship is a crucial part of the college experience. In fact, internships are the new entry-level jobs. Graduates with internship experience have much better job opportunities than those without relevant work experience. Summer internships are particularly popular, because they allow students to focus fully on the internship without having to work around class schedules. If you haven’t found a summer internship yet, it’s time to get the search started.

Update your Resume

Add any recent projects completed, presentations given, courses taken and skills gained since your last resume update. You may also need to remove irrelevant or outdated information. Visit your career center to get additional help with resume development and formatting. A good cover letter is also necessary because it expands on the resume and clarifies your career goals.

Select Target Companies

Choosing your target companies  before applying helps focus your goals and allows for more efficient use of time. Research companies in your industry and determine which ones best align with your interests and values. To find out more about companies in your industry, visit Glassdoor and Vault.

Visit the Career Center

Your career center may have relationships with some of your target companies. If that’s the case, it will be easier to apply and increase your chances of getting an interview. Also, ask about upcoming career fairs. You may not land an internship at a career fair, but it’s a good way to get your resume in the hands of company representatives.

Search Online

If your target companies aren’t recruiting on your campus, you can still apply for internships by searching online. It’s best to apply directly through the company’s career website. Set up alerts on job boards so that relevant positions are delivered to your inbox. For ideas on where to find jobs online, read about the best sites to find an internship. You can also find internships and entry-level jobs from Indeed on our job listings page.

Practice Interviewing

Companies take internships seriously, and they’ll probably want to interview potential interns at least once. To avoid getting caught off guard, start practicing some basic interview questions now. You should be able to talk extensively about any projects or papers listed, what courses you’ve enjoyed, what you’ve learned in your major courses, and what you hope to accomplish during the internship. Once you have an interview with a specific company, you can do more in-depth research and craft company-specific questions.

Stay Organized

When applying to many jobs, it’s important to stay organized. One easy way to stay on top of your job search is to create a job search file. Keeping all job search related documentation in one place will prevent you from applying to the same place twice, allow you to follow-up in a timely manner and will jog your memory when you get calls from potential employers.

Since many employers fill entry-level positions with former interns, an internship may be the key to landing a job after college. Start early and don’t give up the search, because companies have different time lines for hiring. For more advice in finding an internship, read All Work, No Pay: Finding an Internship, Building Your Resume, Making Connections, and Gaining Job Experience