How To Land An Internship In College

1.   Solidify Your Online Presence
You need to have a strong personal brand online that will represent you if employers Google your name or do any online research about you. This means that your Facebook needs to be clean and somewhat professional. You should have a LinkedIn account that shows your past job experience and also has recommendations for your work. To make your personal brand even stronger, start networking with professionals on LinkedIn and Twitter. Start a blog that talks about something related to your major. Connect with other bloggers and be an active member in the online blog community. When applying for a job, blog about something related to that job, this way if the company reads your blog they’ll know you’re serious. Google yourself and see what comes up.

2.   Network
Network, network, network! This means networking online through social media, offline at school, at work, at the bar, at career fairs, and basically ANYWHERE you go. You never know when you’ll meet someone that could help you get an internship, now or in the future. When meeting people, if you exchange contact information, make sure to follow up with that contact. This means emailing them and saying, “it was nice to meet you,” if you have nothing else to say.

3.   Attend Career Fairs
College career fairs are great for finding internships. Where else can you go where there are a large number of businesses looking to give YOU internships? Use them! Look up a list of companies that will be attending the fair, research those companies and create a tailored resume for each of the ones you are interested in. Get the contact info for the HR reps and follow up with them by email right after the fair.

4.   Hit The Online Job Boards
There’s always websites that will be offering internships. Check out your university’s online job board or career website, local job listing websites, and craigslist.

5.   Seek Out Companies You Would Like To Intern For
If you’re looking for an internship in a specific field, don’t be afraid to seek out companies you would like to work for, especially if they are smaller, local firms. Find out who to contact from their website or LinkedIn and try to connect with them. See if you know anyone who has contacts at the company and see if they can help you out. At the very least, email them your tailored resume and cover letter and let them know you would like to be an intern for their company.

6.   Perfect Your Resume
Make sure your resume is perfect. Attend resume workshops and get as many opinions as you can on your resume. Ask professors and professionals to take a look and make sure it’s the best resume it can be before submitting it to employers.

7.   Kill The Interview
Once you get an interview, prepare for it as much as possible. This means researching the company as if you had to write a report on it. Have questions ready for your interviewer. Also prepare for common questions you might be asked, such as “tell me about yourself,” or situational questions. If you are asked to talk about your past work experience, explain your accomplishments, your experiences, what you learned, and ALWAYS tie it back into how your past work experience will help you at that company if you are hired.

8.   Follow Up
Send a thank you email to the person who interviewed you. In the brief email, include a thank you, and a statement on why you would be perfect for the job that includes something you learned from the interview. Close the email with a “I look forward to hearing from you” statement and a professional signature that includes your personal website if you have one.

9.   Never Burn Bridges
In the event that you are not hired, don’t take it too hard on yourself. If you receive this bad news in an email, respond to the email thanking them for the time. Ask them to please keep you in mind if another position is open, and then keep them updated in the future as you gain more work and college experience.

Please share any questions, comments or other tips below!