A summer internship can have many benefits, from making connections to gaining valuable professional experience to meeting new people with similar interests. Every summer, many students look for internships as a way to add value to their resume and show that they are dedicated and thorough. Who knows? Down the road, you may even receive an offer for a position at the company you interned for. In general, companies much prefer going with a candidate they are familiar with than hire an unknown.
So how do you get a summer internship? Here are a few approaches you should try.
Research, then make a list
It sounds simple, but many students skip this step. Instead of taking the time to research the companies located in their area and putting together a plan, they start contacting companies directly. It’s a good idea to start with the research phase and establish a list of as many companies as possible, sorting them from most desired to least. A lot of resources online, from Google Maps to social networks like LinkedIn, can help you find companies you didn’t know existed. Lastly, don’t be afraid to hit the pavement as well. Walking around town can also give you ideas of potential businesses where you could apply. In the end, make sure you have at least five alternatives you are comfortable with, then start applying!
Get your resume in top shape
Before sending in applications, make sure your resume is in the best possible shape. Be clear, concise and use action verbs to describe your past experiences. List your education, such as having received training from 3D animation colleges or having taken web development courses. Take the time to ask someone around you who you trust to look at your resume and give you feedback about what they liked and disliked from it. This also applies to your cover letter, which should be direct and to the point. A solid resume can definitely get you places.
Don’t give up
If your dream company doesn’t have a summer internship, that doesn’t necessarily mean game over. On networks like LinkedIn, you can sometimes find the person in charge of human resources or the managing director of a particular department. Though it’s not guaranteed to work, you can try contacting this person, explaining why you’re interested in an internship under his or her supervision and talking up your achievements. Remember: be concise. If you play your cards right, your presentation skills may get you a foot in the door.
Set your own goals
If you land an interview, think about what interning for this company would really be like, then try to determine your own goals, such as the type of skills you’d like to develop or the type of projects you’d like to work on. You can then talk about these in your interview, which will make you come across as passionate, thorough and career-oriented. You can also mention your long-term objectives, such as pursuing business management training.