I this is true for you, then it could be a sign you need to regain control of your search… it’s time to try something different!
Searching for internships is truly what you make of it, and sometimes, you have to do things outside your comfort zone to discover cool opportunities. If there’s a specific company you want to work for or type of experience you desire, make opportunities happen for yourself and gain control of your search. Here’s how:
Own Your Experience
One of the reasons your internship search could be troublesome is because you lack confidence in the experience you already possess. Especially for college students who are applying for their first internship, it’s easy to feel discouraged because of a lack of experience. However, what’s important to remember is the experience you do have. Whether it’s volunteering or your involvement on campus, this type of experience will stand out to employers — so own it!
Never Underestimate Yourself
When you have little experience, it’s tempting to underestimate yourself and think you’re not “good enough” for a position. However, if you’re starting to feel this way, it’s important to remember your soft skills when applying for internships. Employers look for candidates who are passionate about what they’re studying, have a hunger for knowledge, and possess the work ethic to back it up. As you apply for internships, customize your resume and cover letter to each position, and highlight your soft skills. This will help you stand out from other college students who are applying for the same position as you.
Be Social and Get Involved
To truly gain control of your internship search, you must be proactive by networking, building new relationships, and being involved with professional organizations. Many internships are discovered through word of mouth, so the only way you’re going to discover these opportunities is by making connections. This can be as simple as asking your peers about connections they may have or attending networking events. Your involvement with a professional organization can also help you build valuable connections that can lead to internships.
Schedule a Meeting with Your Internship Counselor
During your internship search, it’s important to touch base with your internship counselor. These people are here to provide you with guidance and advice during your search — and they’re also passionate about helping you discover opportunities. If you’re struggling with finding internships, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with your internship counselor. Be sure to bring your resume, cover letter, and a list of questions to the meeting. This well help you organize your internship search and get you on track.
While these efforts may seem simple, they can help you immensely during your internship search. The key to successfully landing an internship is confidence, knowing where to look, and building connections. If you take advantage of the tools you already have, you will be able to gain back control of your search.
What do you find most challenging about searching for internships?
For this post, YouTern thanks our friend, Heather Huhman!
About 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.