5 Steps to Successful Internship Hunting

By Max Londberg on June 25, 2012
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Photo from Flickr.com. Uploaded by Jerry Bunker

 

Summer vacation has begun for many of us, and if you’re like me, that can feel like an invite for complacency.

But this sudden wealth of free time should be exploited by, say, hunting for internships. The summer is an ideal time for applying to internships because homework, midterms, final exams, etc. are no longer the priority, and you can devote that newly acquired free time to internship applications. But before you do so, take a look at five important steps to landing an internship.

1. Start early.

It’s easy to put off an application that isn’t due for a month, but this can lead to a rejection. If you procrastinate long enough, you may end up rushing through writing your cover letter or resume. It’s much easier to make mistakes when rushed, and one mistake equals rejection.

2. Don’t feel discouraged after a rejection—or ten.

Instead, try learning from each rejection. Go over everything you sent. You can even ask the company what separated your application from the one that was selected. It doesn’t hurt to ask even if they choose not to disclose that information. But if they do tell you, you’ve gained valuable insight that you can use on the next one.

3. Update your resume.

Be sure to add any important awards or accomplishments to your resume as they happen. If you have nothing else to add, you can always make improvements to your resume’s style, even if that means simply selecting a new format in Word.

4. Follow up.

If you don’t get a response in a week, send an email or even call the company. Be persistent. Until they say that they’ve selected someone else, continue inquiring about the internship – prove to them how badly you want it.

5. Lastly, but most importantly, network.

Tell anyone who will listen that you’re looking for an internship. Tell friends, family, acquaintances, classmates, teammates, professors and advisers. Each one of us knows hundreds of people, and those hundreds of people know hundreds more. Chances are you know someone who knows someone who can grant you an opportunity at landing an internship.

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Max is a senior journalism student at the University of Oregon. He likes books, astronomy and Kobe's footwork but loves to write. Follow him on Twitter @MaxLondberg

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