How to Get an Internship and Secure the Job You Have Been Dreaming Of
So how to get an internship and secure the job you have been dreaming of?
In The Coffee Run and Other Internship Need-To-Knows, Sydney Fulkerson, a self-proclaimed internship expert, gives the internship advice she wishes someone had told her too. She was inspired to share the experiences after her friends kept asking her for tips and tricks.
Here are five ways you can snag your dream internship, based on The Coffee Run and Fulkerson’s first-hand stories.
Start planning for the summer nowIt’s never too early to start planning for your future. Fulkerson recommends mapping out a plan 10 months ahead of time to give yourself room to brainstorm
- where you see yourself
- fix your résumé and
- write company-specific cover letters.
However, it’s important to realize that prospective employers are probably focused on more immediate hires. Regardless, staying ahead of the game will save you aggravation later on.
Do your researchBefore you send out cover letters to every company that you know, Fulkerson suggests that,
- first create a list of what you want to do and what companies you could see yourself working for
- then list out their contact information
- and most importantly, make sure you reach out to the right person.
It’ll be pretty embarrassing to reach out to someone in the wrong department and the CEO of the company will probably hit “delete” if she/he gets your résumé.
Use your network“It’s a small world after all” has never been truer. Once you can picture yourself in a certain role, reach out to everyone you know that can help you. Someone in your family may have a job that's similar in type or industry and can put you in touch with his/ her boss. Even if you don’t secure an internship, you’ve begun to foster a relationship that can help you later. People you know, who are already working in the industry can also refer you for the right job using their networks.
Always follow upYou find an awesome position, write an amazing cover letter for it, and don’t hear back from them ever? It’s OK to reach out again after some time has passed, as long as it isn’t frequent (and the job posting didn’t specifically say not to). Things may get lost in the cyberspace. Thus make it a habit that you always, always follow up. Send a friendly reminder of who you are, and that you’re still interested in the position. You could receive a “Sorry, we’re not interested email,” but you could also nail an interview for your efforts.
If you’re unsure about something, askSometimes you may think a position could be your dream internship, but it’s not. After you get an offer, it’s OK to ask if an internship is paid or unpaid, what the dress code will be, how many days a week it is, etc. You can only be the best intern could be if you understand what’s expected out of you. No matter which semester it is, internships help you figure out what path you really want to choose for your career in a less stressful way. They help you gain a taste of the real world with connections that may help you in the future.
A National Association of Colleges and Employers’ Study found that 56.5% of students in the Class of 2015 who had an internship, received at least one job offer after college and only 36.5% of their non-internship holding counterparts could say the same.
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