An internship can provide the advancement that potential employees often need as they compete for employment positions in the workforce. For college students they can be tricky to find, however, and many people overlook great opportunities simply because they didn't know where to search. Finding a successful internship can open many doors to rewarding careers, so consider the following points before you begin your search.
Here's how to apply for internship programs.
- Follow Directions-It may seem like a simple command that everyone will follow, but you might be surprised at the number of potential interns who were rejected simply because they didn't follow a company's specific instructions for application. Be sure you read and reread all the instructions, and pay close attention to all applicable dates. Don't wait until the last minute to mail off applications, schedule interviews, and make appointments.
- College Transcripts-Most internship programs will typically request a copy of your college transcript. If you have attended more than one college or university, be sure you include all applicable copies as well.
- Resume-Your resume could be the difference between landing or losing an internship. Before you apply, be sure your resume has been professionally done. Have someone who is familiar with the profession in which you are seeking a position look over the resume and ask them to make suggestions for improvement. Your resume should include contact information, educational, work experience, research experience (if applicable), organizational membership, and awards and honors.
- Recommendation Letters-Even if the program to which you are applying doesn't specifically request recommendation letters, it's always a good idea to include at least two. Don't wait until the last minute to request these references, however. Give the former employee, professor or other acquaintance plenty of notice.
- Letter of Interest-Your letter of interest should be very specific. Not only should you refer to the type of internship you desire, but you should also describe your career goals and your reasons for wanting it. Your letter of interest should also include research or work-related experience that you have had as well.
- Interviews-Many businesses do not want to agree to an internship without first conducting an interview with the potential person. If this is the case for the position, you should familiarize yourself with the company, dress professionally, arrive promptly, and be polite, enthusiastic, and respectful throughout the process. If you have been instructed to bring specific documents to the interview, be sure you do so. It's also a good idea to send a thank you note after the interview, expressing appreciation for the employer's time and the opportunity..
- Follow-Up Letter or Call-Finally, if you haven't heard anything after a week or so, you should send a follow-up letter or place a phone call, expressing your continued interest.
Now all that's left is to get your foot in the door of some intern jobs. Good luck!