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How To Find Your Ideal Internship

October 12, 2011

Stacie Garlieb is the President of Successful Impressions, LLC which assists students and working professionals with career search processes and skills. For more information about the resources her company provides including helpful books and resources to guide you through building your resume and your job search, go to www.successfulimpressions.net and www.bestresumebuilder.com.

StacieGarlieb Headshot 150x150 How To Find Your Ideal InternshipBy Stacie Garlieb

Taking advantage of internship opportunities can allow you to gain experience that will set you apart from other job seekers when it’s time to find a post- graduation opportunity.  Determining which positions will give you actual experience instead of busy work is important, so having a plan helps.

Create a top ten list. Figure out what companies you would like to work for that meet your geographical and career objectives.  When you are online weekly go to each company’s website and post through their individual job posting systems, or do a Google search to see which sites they post their internships on.

Be consistent on when and where you search. Check listings for new postings each Sunday and Thursday, which are the most common posting days.  Submit your resume for the companies and email the posting yourself or print out the information for follow up purposes.

Upload a generic resume to the online Career Services ‘JobLink’ or build your Profile on Internships.com. Most universities and colleges will have an online program that allows students to upload a resume into a ‘Resume Book’.  This is used by employers who recruit on campus to search by keywords in ‘find’ prospective candidates.  There is a chance an employer could come looking for you through the Resume Book and invite you to interview or apply for a certain job. Internships.com is also available to students and employers for free so don’t forget to complete your Profile so employers can search for key words and skills.

Search on ‘JobLink’ or Internships.com for positions weekly using keywords. You can go into the online program or Internships.com and tailor the search to the type of job you want (part-time, internship, etc.), area you want to work in (sales, PR, accounting etc.), and city/state you want to look for.  Larger universities will be part of National Association of Collegiate Employers (NACE) and may ‘share’ the national database for jobs.   Don’t narrow your search to just one keyword – if you are interested in sustainability, try searching with other options such as ‘conservation’, ‘green’, and ‘environmental’ to get the widest range of options.

Review the ‘Responsibilities’ and ‘Qualifications’ for each position.

  • What responsibilities will I have that are adding value to the organization? Are there projects and/or objectives for the position that will help me learn new skills?
  • Will I have an opportunity to work with a group, or independently? Can I offer my leadership skills through informally mentoring or training other people?
  • Is the organization on the ‘Top 10 List’ of companies I would like to work for during my senior year or post-graduation?  Is the company in an industry that aligns with my college major?
  • Are there events/programs that offer continued professional development and networking? Will I meet people who will be a valuable network for professional growth?
  • Is my supervisor or people I will be working with in position(s) that I would like to have at some point in my career? Could they act as mentor(s) to me beyond this opportunity?
  • Does the organization offer the opportunity to become a full time employee post-graduation? How will they evaluate my skills/work during my internship?

What advice do you have for people who are searching for that ideal internship? Leave your tips in the comments below!

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