How to research companies and use Company Directory

Lots of opportunity

Just because a company doesn’t advertise an internship doesn’t mean that they don’t offer them or wouldn’t create one if the right candidate was to seek them out. While there is no guarantee of success it is a proven fact that a proactive approach does work. That’s why we developed four simple steps that will lead to the position and opportunity you’ve been looking for.

Today, less than 50% of all internships are actually posted in the open market. The rest are created and filled in what is called the "hidden market." Open market advertising attracts a broad range of applicants to fill internships. That means lots of competition for the same internship. If you want to give yourself a distinct advantage over the majority of internship seekers, then identify and actively seek out the companies where you would like to intern.

Get More Attention and a Better Fit

You can sidestep the competition by identifying or creating opportunities that others are not aware of yet. This allows you to stand out and present yourself as a valuable solution to the company instead of just another one of the masses.

Here is the 4 step procses to finding hidden internships.

First, sit down and determine: if you had your pick of all the companies where you could intern, which ones would you choose. Consider the type of company (small, medium, large), the profession, the industries you might prefer, and the location (city, state, etc.) where you wish to intern. When you know these answers, search the internships.com Company Directory.

1. Target companies you want to work for

Once you've identified the details of your preferred type of company, profession, industry and location, you can use the Company Directory to help you find those companies that meet YOUR criteria. You will be able to research the companies and even identify key contacts within the companies. Always use the company contact that best fits your needs – if you are looking for a finance internship, contact and address any written communication to the Chief Financial Officer or Finance Director. If you're looking for a marketing internship contact the Marketing Director. If you can't find a profession specific contact, try the HR Manager – they can direct you to the appropriate hiring manager.

By strategically positioning yourself for opportunities that are in alignment with what you want to do, you are ensuring that you receive offers to only those internships that match your career goals.

Increased Confidence

When you engage yourself in a hidden market search you are going to be more self-directed and clear about what you want and why you are pursuing particular prospective employers. Instead of just responding to various internship listings, you will be directing your energy toward the specific profession, industry, location and type of organization that meets your interests and goals.

The very fact of knowing why you want to join a specific company and what makes you a good fit will provide you with confidence. An employer will sense that from your communication. You will have confidence when talking to prospective employers because you will know exactly why the company is a perfect fit for your educational background, experience and goals for the future.

2. Customize your resume and cover letter

When you engage yourself in a hidden market search you are going to be more clear about what you want and why you are pursuing particular prospective employers.

The very fact of knowing why you want to join a specific company and what makes you a good fit will provide you with confidence. An employer will sense that from your communication. You will have confidence when talking to prospective employers because you will know exactly why the company is a perfect fit for your educational background, experience and goals for the future.

Use your specific interest in each company to drive your written materials.

  • Write a custom cover letter that explains why the company should consider you as an intern candidate. (See a sample cover letter here.)

  • Create your resume or customize your existing resume to the fit the industry and type of work done by each employer you will reach out to.

  • Consider how you might be able to get introduced to someone within the organization. (Read the section below about how to let your friends and family know that you are searching for an internship at the companies you most want to work for.)

3. Contact the organization

Identify the right person and call to introduce yourself and/or, email or mail your resume and cover letter to that person. As mentioned earlier, if you are interested in marketing, reach out to the Marketing Directory, Chief Marketing Officer or similar title.

Send a paper mailing to the employer with the cover letter (personalized to the right contact) and resume.

4. Follow Up

Demonstrate your desire in being hired by calilng the right employer contact one week after your initial contact.

Another Option

Another way to get your foot in the door with an employer you want to work for, is to find a connection who will introduce you to a current employee.

What this means is seeing if your friends, family and other contacts if they know people within these target companies. (Don't forget you can search LinkedIn.com to find company contacts you may be able to reach directly or indirectly through those you know on social media.)

This approach gives you the opportunity to be introduced to the company through someone you know, and who knows you. When this occurs, you can often learn more about the company prior to your meeting (or communication) by talking to the person who made the introduction.

Another great advantage to the hidden market is the speed in which an internship can be secured once an introduction takes place. Unlike in the open market where employers have to be cautious because they know nothing about the applicants, in the hidden market employers have been introduced to a prospective intern by a trusted contact. In these situations they are more likely to prefer "referred" intern candidates. They approach the interview with the intention of making a positive connection – this is a huge advantage in an interview. Whenever possible, position yourself to introduce your qualifications to prospective employers through your connections.

Who wouldn't want to conduct a search that leads them to most of the opportunities? Use the internships.com Company Directory to customize your search to meet your career goals!

Identify the right person and call to introduce yourself and/or, email or mail your resume and cover letter to that person. As mentioned earlier, if you are interested in marketing, reach out to the Marketing Directory, Chief Marketing Officer or similar title.