Your Go-To Guide for Applying to Internships
By Olivia Lamme
Internship hunting can feel like the most overwhelming and stressful process, especially when you think you don’t have adequate industry experience. But don’t worry, you are not alone. We all feel this pressure looming over us at some point in college. Remember that internships are an amazing way to showcase your hard work and grow your network. Your coursework has set you up for success, and there are employers out there who are so excited to meet you and see what you have to offer. Here are a few tips to help the internship search feel a little more attainable.
Update Your Resume
The first and most important step is to keep your resume updated and relevant. Your extracurriculars, courses and work experience change rapidly during college, so make sure your resume reflects your most recent experiences. As for the actual content in your resume, choose four or five sections to organize your content. Start with your contact information at the top, then add sections for education, leadership experience, work experience, campus or community involvement and skills. Feel free to customize these sections to your own preferences.
Each section should have two to three entries, and each individual entry should have two to three bullet points. Make sure your bullet points start with action verbs and convey the skills and accomplishments you experienced in those roles. This information showcases your strengths and involvement.
Create and Maintain a LinkedIn Account
If you do not already have one, make a LinkedIn account. This platform is a great tool to start building your professional network. Connect with friends, classmates, previous employers, professors and family friends. LinkedIn is an amazing place to explore jobs and opportunities in your field of study and connect with industry professionals. Much like your resume, keep your LinkedIn profile updated and relevant. Include current work experience and extracurricular involvement if applicable.
Use Your University’s Resources
UGA, along with most universities, provides a wide range of career resources. These services include a career office with access to resume-building programs and general career advice. Career office employees know what they are talking about, and they can positively impact your internship or job search.
Also subscribe to your specific college’s weekly newsletter. These emails provide links to internship and job applications and inform you on beneficial events or programs, such as upcoming career fairs. Career fairs are an effective way to connect with potential employers and meet industry professionals. When attending a career fair, make sure to research the employers you are interested in, bring your resume and know how to pitch yourself. Tell career fair employers what skills you bring to the table and why you would be an amazing fit for their team. After the fair, use your LinkedIn or email to follow-up on the conversation.
Ace Your Interview
Getting an interview is the hardest step in the internship and job search process. Once you have solidified an interview spot, just be yourself and know how to sell your skills. Prepare an elevator pitch so you can tell the relevant aspects of your experience in a condensed and efficient manner. Educate yourself on the position and company beforehand and know why you want to work there.
Make sure to present yourself well by dressing appropriately and having an enthusiastic attitude. Let your personality shine and show companies why you deserve the position.
At first, the internship hunting process can feel intimidating and exhausting. Use these tips to alleviate this pressure and secure an internship. Remember to be confident in your skills and show employers why they should want to work with you. With an updated resume and LinkedIn, as well as active involvement in career fairs and other campus resources, you will ace your internship interview and land a well-deserved opportunity.