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The Secret of Landing an Internship In Your Field Of Study. A Student Guide
After successfully completing several courses in your program of study, you may be ready to apply for an internship. Many students are interested in a summer internship so they don’t have to interrupt their studies during a regular college semester. Others don’t mind taking a semester-long internship near the end of their studies. Remember that thousands of students will apply for internships at countries around the world. Here are several tips that can help you to land the internship you want.
Experts agree that it is important to apply for the summer internships you are interested in by November. Employers will receive numerous applications and need time to filter them to find the candidates who are best suited to their company’s needs. Although you can still apply after November if you become aware of new internship opportunities, it is best to target the ones you are aware of by late fall if possible.
While you may be tempted to apply to as many internships as possible, a better plan is to selectively target those that you are truly interested in. Check to see that the company’s internship requires skills that you can provide. Study the organization’s website and online profile for an idea of whether you would enjoy working there and if the experience could benefit your career.
Update Your Resume
Before submitting applications, review your resume carefully and update it as needed. Add new achievements, awards, and experiences that may be relevant to the internship. Tailor your resume for each application to emphasize aspects of your education that fit best with the required skills at various companies.
Write a Killer Cover Letter
Although the resume is like a professional calling card, your cover letter is just as important. In the letter you should draw attention to a few crucial points in the resume that you want the employer to notice. The letter can also offer explanatory details or side notes that may be of interest. Include a thank-you at the end of the letter for the reader’s time in considering your application.
Confirm Your References
List three or four references in your resume that employers can contact about their knowledge of your background or character. Use the full legal names of each person, along with their current job title, company name, and contact information. Never include a relative or close friend; list professionals who know something about your academic standing and relevant work experience.
Prepare a Strong Interview
Find standard interview questions on the Web and rehearse your answers. Roleplay the interview process with a friend or roommate for practice. Record your answers to the interview questions, and then play back the recordings to hear how you sound. In general, plan to be courteous, friendly, and somewhat outgoing without being overbearing or reflecting insecurity.
Create a Positive Impression
Use an upbeat tone in your application materials that shows you will be a pleasure to work with. If additional information is requested, provide it promptly and courteously.
Your internship application should be thoughtfully planned and professionally developed. An academic adviser may be able to assist you if need be. Craft each application with the specific organization in mind rather than using form letters. The more personally you target the company, the likelier they are to appreciate your uniqueness.
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