A Proven 4-Step Process for Getting the Internship You Want

OprahSearching for an internship can be a stressful and overwhelming process.

By learning the right tips and techniques and knowing what steps to take and when, however, you’ll find the process becomes much easier, and each step you take gets you that much closer to your goal.

To help you land an internship you’ve been dreaming of applying for, check out this 4-step process:

Step 1: Determine the Right Opportunity and Company

The secret to landing a great internship is deciding what you want out of your internship and then searching for the opportunities that come closest to meeting your goals.

  • Assess your needs. This is the first step of finding an internship. Think about the type of experience you hope to gain from an internship and what you have to offer. You should also think about the types of opportunities that would be a good match for your skills and personality.
  • Target employers. After you have an idea of what type of internship you want, it’s time to target employers. Focus on employers you’d genuinely like to work for and research their company. This will help you find great contacts within the company and write an outstanding application.

Step 2: Build Your Network

The best way to land an internship is to build connections with professionals who work in your field. Here’s how:

  • Connect on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a great platform for connecting with professionals who work in your chosen field in your area. As you research employers, it’s a good idea to build some connections with their employees.
  • Participate in Twitter chats. Twitter chats are useful for connecting with a variety of professionals in your industry and learning valuable internship advice. It’s also a good idea to participate in chats such as #InternPro, which will help you learn what it takes to land an internship.
  • Attend networking events. An important element of landing an internship is getting your name out there. Networking events are a great opportunity for you to meet professionals in person and have a chance to talk about your internship search.
  • Send networking emails. Another way you can get in touch with professionals is by sending networking emails. This tactic is useful when you don’t have a direct contact with a company.

Step 3: Methodically Create Your Resume and Cover Letter

Done well, your resume and cover letter are tools that will help you stand out among your competition. Here are some tips to help you do just that:

  • Target your application. The most important part of writing your resume and cover letter is tailoring it to the employer and position. This will show the employer you put in the extra time to write your resume and cover letter.
  • Include accomplishment stories. To showcase your skills and experience, it’s important to include accomplishment stories. These stories should talk about the results you achieved in a previous job, internship, or leadership position.

Step 4: Prepare for the Interview (and Expect the Best Case Scenario)

Once you’ve secured a job interview, it’s time to prepare your portfolio and do some research and perhaps an adjustment in your mindset. Why? Because expecting anything less than a positive attitude will be noticed by the interviewer! To be positive, you must be prepared and confident. Here’s how to make sure you’re ready:

  • Research the employer. Research is key to succeed in any job interview. Make sure you read the company’s website, check out their blog, and follow the company on social media. It’s also a good idea to read up on their most recent events and accomplishments.
  • Prepare questions for the interviewer. For every job interview, prepare questions to ask the interviewer. These questions will show the interviewer you dedicated time to preparing for the job interview and that you’re seriously interested in the position.

When you follow these tips, you’ll be able to land a great internship that provides the experience you’ve been searching for. Good luck!


For this post, YouTern thanks our friend, Heather Huhman!


Heather Huhman logo


HeatherAbout the Author: Heather R. Huhman is a career expert and founder & president of Come Recommended, a career and workplace education and consulting firm specializing in young professionals. Follow her on Twitter at @heatherhuhman.


Image courtesy of quickmeme. Thank you!



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