College students know that in order to get that target career, they need to get their foot in the door with an internship – preferably an internship that shows employers that as a prospective recruit, you are capable of doing great work. What better way to achieve this than with an internship that allows you to experience all of this? Here are five steps to land that dream internship.
1. Make a List of Employers.
Create a list of five to ten employers that pique your interest and are offering a program that fits what you are searching for. The next plan of action is to check out the company website and other relevant information to make sure you know everything about the employer. It’s a great idea to follow social media accounts associated with the company and read any blogs to scope out the company culture.
2. Have a Standout Resume.
You will be judged on the basis of your resume so make sure to have it critiqued by your campus Career Services. An effective resume needs to convey your skill set and explain why you would be the perfect intern for the position. A stellar resume has credentials that peers might not have – join a professional association, start a school club or even your own business.
3. Build Connections.
Make contacts within the organization in order to gain advice and insight on how to get in the door. Join LinkedIn if you haven’t already and connect with employees currently working with the company. Most campuses have networking events or career fairs so be sure to attend them and establish relationships with campus recruiters or prospective employers. The more people you develop relationships with, the more likely it is you will have insiders to refer you for job openings. On-campus presentations of companies are great ways to gain insights into their offerings.
4. Nail the Interview.
If you have completed the above steps successfully then you will soon gain an opportunity for an interview with a recruiter. An interview is like a first date; you want to look your best and make a great impression. Present yourself in a professional context and make sure you have a series of questions to ask your interviewer to display your interest in the company. Practice interviewing and prepare answers to some of the most common interview questions. Many campuses offer mock interviews so take advantage of this. The most important part of the interview is to project confidence in yourself and make sure this is conveyed to the interviewer; if you are not confident in yourself, it will be difficult for an employer to have confidence in you.
5. Accept the Internship!
If you are sure the internship is right for you and it is what you have been searching for, then accept the offer. Internships are perfect opportunities to learn about the field and gain insight into your target career. An excellent experience at an internship will pave the way for your target career!
Jaskamal Gill will graduate in 2016 from Rutgers University with a degree in accounting and a minor in English. Jaskamal plans on working for a Big 4 firm after college and getting her MBA. She dreams of starting her own business and enjoys Virtual Campus.