Get Your First Internship in 3 Simple Steps

3 StepsWhen I first started college back in 2006, internships weren’t the first thing on my mind; quite frankly, they weren’t the most popular thing to do.

As graduating talent becomes stronger, however, the need to differentiate yourself from your peers is a crucial part of the college experience. And internships help you do just that.

In Looksharp’s 2015 State of College Hiring Survey, where over 50,000 students were surveyed, 71% of students reported that an internship should be a requirement when obtaining a college degree.

But securing an internship can be difficult if you don’t know where to start… so here are three tips to help you get your first internship experience:

Build an Online Profile

Building an online profile can be your single point of contact for those who are wanting to learn more about you, your major, and any experience you may have garnered over the past few years.

According to that same survey from Looksharp, 82% of students have online career profiles. In fact, many students maintain more than one profile for maximum exposure:

 

All Students
Business-oriented
Academic-oriented
Male Students
Female Students
Have an online profile
82.1%
86.7%
76.4%
83.9%
81.8%
LinkedIn
94.4%
95.1%
94.4%
94.5%
94.3%
Looksharp/InternMatch
38.4%
38.8%
36.9%
39.5%
36.8%
Behance
2.7%
3.3%
0.8%
2.3%
3.0%
Github
4.1%
7.2%
1.0%
7.3%
1.8%
Personally-built website
9.3%
8.9%
5.5%
8.6%
9.9%

 

Build Your Skill Set with Additional Online Courses

Building your portfolio outside traditional college classes can help make you far more marketable. And your competition for that first internship is already taking advantage: 26 percent of students have taken online classes to support skills they’ve learned in the classroom.

There are several types of online programs to choose from, some of which are fairly inexpensive. Providers include Coursera, Udemy, CodeAcademy, and General Assembly. Each is known for provideing hands-on real world skills that help drive additional growth opportunities.

Start Early

Something I heard a lot in college: wait until your senior year to start your first internship. The rationalization: you need to really understand your career path before doing anything.

The reality is, however, that in today’s workplace several companies are looking at all college students across the board when it comes hiring interns. And once again, those competing for the same internships you’ll apply for are already on the ball.

About two-thirds of the students surveyed started building real world work experience during their sophomore year; a close second: freshman year.

Starting early not only allows you to gain insights into the career path you want to tackle head-on, it enables you to take advantage mentorship, hands-on experience, networking opportunities and other perks associated with interning.

Thinking about getting an internship this school year? Want to compete well for those coveted positions? Then it’s important to understand the state of college hiring. And you can do just that by attending Looksharp’s State of College Hiring webinar on Thursday, July 16th at 11a PST. Can’t attend today? Register, and receive a link to the recorded webinar for viewing at your convenience.

 

 

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