With summer approaching, many college students are struggling to find internships. Competition is the biggest problem facing students as they try to land their dream internship. Students have to find a way to stand out. Here are some ways to find and snag that coveted internship.
There are plenty of online resources designed to help you find internship listings. However, if you have a specific company in mind that you would like to work for, it is a good idea to approach the company directly. Even if a company does not have any current openings, you will be first in mind for future opportunities. Also, always take the time to network in your personal circle. A friend or family member may have a connection in the field you want to work in.
When it comes to writing résumés, a common misconception is that you should try to cram everything you have ever done onto one page, to show how much you have accomplished. Instead, this tactic often backfires and comes off as overwhelming or chaotic. Résumés should remain concise and simple, and students should include their biggest and most relevant accomplishments. Keep descriptions short and to the point. Always have a friend or career counselor read over your résumé and look for typos, spelling mistakes and other errors.
A common mistake students make is just waiting to hear back from the company after submitting their résumé. Not hearing back from a company does not necessarily mean you are not well-suited for the job. It just means that the company has many résumés to work through. If you have not heard from the company within two weeks, send a quick follow-up email to the appropriate department, introducing yourself and reminding the company that you are interested in a certain position. The key is to be polite and professional, not overly aggressive. Show them that you are a motivated student who is interested in their company without becoming an annoyance.
A version of this article appeared in the Thursday, May 1 print edition. Nikita Metharamani is a staff writer. Email her at email@example.com.