During the spring semester, many companies and corporations around the country search for college students to fill their summer internship positions.
These companies want students who are passionate, diligent, and self-motivated.
You do not need a 4.0 GPA to land the internship of a lifetime, but you will need a well-executed strategy.
Often, many college students will not even reach the interview process because they failed during the application process.
Before you can start to think about the interview, you must first get through the application process.
Yes, hundreds of college students compete for the same internship.
How can you stand out from the rest, and be sure that you are one of the few scheduled for an interview?
First, get acquainted with the company.
What type of company is it?
What is the age range of their targeted customers?
What is the company’s mission?
Who are their competitors? Most of this information can be found on the company’s main website.
The research you do now will help you in the interview as well; do not be afraid to use your newfound knowledge to impress the interviewer.
After you search high and low for information, the next step is to fill out the application form.
If you found the internship through your school, then they will have the forms you need to complete.
However, if you heard about the internship from a colleague or from an online forum, then you can do either one of two things: search the company’s website for an internship page to find out more information, or send the company a personal e-mail stating that you would like to receive more information about the internship.
Most of the time, the application will request an attached resume upon submission.
If this is the case, then do so; in fact, if submitting an application by mail, attach two copies of your resume just in case one is misplaced.
If you have a second resume, which gives job history in a career field unrelated to the position you applied for, go ahead and send it as well.
For example, an actor who applies for a marketing internship can send a second resume that entails his or her previous gigs.
Do not mix your job resume with your acting, dance, or writing resume
They are two different elements and should be treated as such.
The second resume gives the interviewer a deeper look into your personal interest.
If he has experience in your second career field, you two may be able to connect on a personal level, giving you an edge up on the competition.
If filling out an online application, make sure all information is correct, including contact information for previous employers.
Often, companies use the provided information to contact previous employers or to get in contact with you.
Do not be the person whom the interviewer could not contact because of an “inactive e-mail address”, which is “inactive” because it was misspelled.
If you fill out an application by hand, make sure to write neatly.
Do not write in cursive because many times it is difficult to distinguish certain letters.
Also, double check your information to make sure everything is spelled correctly.
Unlike an online admission, spell check is unavailable.
Not all companies give information about possible internships; instead, they wait for people to contact them.
If there is a company you would like to intern for and they did not state whether or not they are in need of interns, go ahead and send an e-mail.
In the e-mail, write a little information about yourself telling them who you are, what you study in college, and why you want the internship.
Also, inform them of any credits you may look to receive at the end of the internship.
Sending the first email not only displays your interest but also shows that you take the initiative to get things done.
Do not wait around for a response once the email is sent
Instead, apply for more internships.
It is always good to have more than one option just in case you do not get the first internship you applied for.
If several weeks pass and you do not receive a response about your application, then go ahead and give the company a call.
Tell them that you applied for their internship, and you called about the status of your application.
If they tell you they already found their interns for the summer, thank them for their time.
However, if they tell you your application is still pending, thank them and practice patience.
Try not to call more than once.
Many companies are busy and cannot afford to answer phone calls from nervous applicants.
Knowing how to search and apply for an internship is just as important as the interview
Many students miss the opportunity of a lifetime because they called one too many times or because they failed to double check their application form.
Do not be that person.
While you wait for the scheduled interview, get ahead of the game and update your resume, or have a friend ask possible interview questions.
You can never be over-prepared for an interview, only underprepared.