Getting a Job

How to Get the Internship You’ve Always Wanted

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For many students and professionals, getting an internship is an important step to achieving your career goals because they allow you the ability to explore new sectors and career paths, all while gaining hands-on experience. However, there are various steps you should take to secure a beneficial internship with a reputable company or organization. In this article, you can learn how to find internships, how to apply for them and how to optimize your resume for internship applications.

What are internships?

Internships are temporary positions that allow you to gain experience in real time. They are often within a specific industry that requires specialized skills and experience to enter. Although internships are most commonly taken on by high school or college students, they may also be used as a way for other adults to switch careers or re-enter the workforce. Internships can usually last anywhere between one week and one year. They can be paid or unpaid and they can also offer course credit. 

How to find internships

You can follow these steps if you are looking to find an internship in a particular field, company or organization:

1. First, take a self-assessment to explore your interests

The first step to securing a quality internship is to take a self-assessment. This is a method of uncovering your core skills and professional goals in order to move forward in your quest to secure an internship. During this step, you should be taking the time to decide what field you wish to work in and what types of positions you plan to acquire in the future. 

2. Second, do some research on the companies you might like to work for

Conduct research to find which types of companies and organizations may have openings for the internship position you are seeking. This research typically includes searching the web to gather information on companies that are in the same field you are interested in. For instance, if you want to venture into broadcasting, you may research local television stations and see which ones have paid or unpaid openings. 

3. Third, talk to people in your network

Networking is a great method for finding an internship. Since many internships are unpaid, it may be possible to secure an internship by asking those in your circle if they know anyone who would be willing to take you on as an intern. Additionally, you can look for networking events to see if you can meet people who are already working in your chosen field. 

4. Finally, attend job fairs 

Another method of securing an internship is by attending job fairs. Although employers are typically looking to hire people for paid positions, this is an excellent way to meet people who are already working in the company or industry in which you are seeking an internship. You can exchange contact information, find out if they are interested in taking on new interns or make a contact with someone who can help you acquire a position later. 

How to apply for internships

To apply for the internship positions, you can complete the following steps:

1. First, submit your application

Once you have gathered enough information and have identified the companies and organizations in which you can acquire an internship, it is time to apply. If the company is hiring interns, you can simply follow their application process. However, if they are not actively seeking interns, you can take the time to create a cover letter that details your skills and why you wish to intern at their company, as well as a resume that goes into depth about your scholastic and/or professional history. You will then send these materials to someone in human resources unless you have a particular contact who may help you secure the position. 

2. Second, follow up by phone or email to show your continued interest

Once you have sent the materials, you should call or send an email to follow up on your application. You will want to make sure they are aware of the fact that you submitted the application, reiterate your interest in the internship and invite them to contact you with any questions or let them know that you are available for an interview. 

3. Lastly, make your final decision and accept or withdraw

After applying to multiple internships, it is possible that you may get several offers to start interning at various companies. If so, you should accept the internship which is most in-line with your professional goals and withdraw your applications from the other employers. 

How to optimize your resume for internship applications

Here are some steps you can follow to optimize your resume: 

1. First, make a list of your skills

Before you can begin writing a resume for your internship, you should take the time to list your most important skills. This will serve as the foundation for your resume. 

2. Second, create a functional resume 

Given that you likely have little experience in the sector in which you are seeking an internship, you will need to create a functional, or skill-based, resume. This will allow you to showcase your related skills without having to worry about the lack of work experience. 

3. Then, write an objective for your resume

Due to your lack of experience, your resume objective will be instrumental in setting you apart from others pursuing the same position. This objective should illustrate your present skills and what you will gain by interning with their company. Additionally, it should also explain how you can help their company further its goals and initiatives. 

4. Next, include your education, experience and skills

Following your objective, you need to include sections in which you list your education, any relevant experience and all skills that pertain to the position. Focus most of your energy on listing your related skills and fill in the rest of the resume with your educational background and experience.

5. Finally, keep your resume to one page

Unless you have an extensive list of specialized skills that can help you in the position you are seeking, your resume should be one-page long.