Tips for Finding and Landing an Internship

Updated on 05/12/2022

Tips for Finding and Landing an Internship

The right internship opportunity adds valuable industry-specific experience to your resume. If you find an internship that aligns with your career goals and interests, it can set you on the right path for career success.

These experiential learning opportunities give you an excellent chance to simulate what a real job in your intended career field is likely to be after college. You will get new skills and opportunities that you would not have otherwise received. 

Unfortunately, finding the best internship slot that could possibly land you full-time employment is not only challenging but also highly competitive. Even your buddy who graduated with you in college is likely to become your competition. 

So, what can you do to increase your chances of finding and landing an internship? We’ve compiled a list of tips to help you find and get that coveted summer internship. 

Identify Your Broad Career Interests

This is perhaps the primary focus for any student looking for an internship. You need to know what you are looking for career-wise, so you can plan where to start.

And really, you don’t have to be too specific. If, for instance, you’d like to follow your passion in finance, you’ll have no business looking for networks in the accounting field. 

Talk to Someone in the Field

When looking for an internship, it is essential to talk to people who already have a “feel” of the field you would like to make your career. This will give you a broad perspective of what to expect. It will also offer invaluable insights into what to include in your resume. 

If you know someone working in the field, sometimes this is the best place to start as you have an advocate. This can include your professor, family friend, academic advisor, or someone in your personal network. For instance, students looking for marketing internships or accounting internships may learn some industry trends by talking with people already in the industry. This way, you can learn where to focus your energy for the best chance of landing an internship.

You also stand to get referrals from some of your preferred companies. 

Start Your Search Early

When looking for an internship, it is important to start your search early so you can have enough lead time to pursue all opportunities. You can follow various leads such as your college alumni, professionals within the industry, the college’s services office, and other close networks during this time. This will give you an advantage over someone applying at the last minute. 

Attend Careers Fairs

Industry-specific career fairs that happen during winter break offer a great starting point if you are looking for a summer internship in 2022. Top employers and industry leaders usually attend these fairs to screen, recruit, and hire talented interns and employees.

Surprisingly, this is one of the leading ways of turning an internship into a job because, if a prospective recruiter takes you on as an intern, they have already seen the value in you that they would tap into by offering you full-time employment. 

Search for Internship Opportunities Online

Today, most employers are departing from the old recruitment ways and going digital to look for people to work with. Sites such as LinkedIn and Glassdoor are awash with multiple paid and full-time internship opportunities.

You can filter your search with various keywords such as “internship,” “full-time internship,” “full-time job,” “summer internships 2022”, “summer internship,” or even “full-time job hours” to get the right hits. A simple Google search using similar key terms can also prove to be invaluable. 

How to Land an Internship

Finding an internship that aligns with your career goals is half the battle; getting the opportunity is actually an enormous hurdle. Most of these internship slots at highly-coveted organizations are super-competitive.

Here are a few ways you can increase your chances of getting selected and landing the internship:

Apply Early Enough

Some companies often hire their interns a few months before the internship begins. This, therefore, means that only those applications sent before the cutoff date will be considered. By applying a few months before, you significantly increase your chances of getting selected. 

Make Sure Your Resume Shines and Have People Review It

Internships offer the first “real” job opportunities for most students. Use this opportunity to make an outstanding resume that will catch your recruiter’s attention. Your resume should clearly highlight your strengths, qualifications, and achievements. 

If you don’t have prior experience, you can include activities that your employer might find valuable, such as organization/club membership or previous community volunteer work. Be sure to have a professional or your college’s career services department look at your resume before sending it out. 

Send Customize Cover Letter

Many students make the mistake of using bland, generic cover letters that really don’t speak to the recruiter. Your cover letter should be fully customized for each specific company. It should show that you understand their mission and offer ways you can be a valuable addition to their team. 

Take an Unpaid Internship

Don’t limit your search to paid internships only. While they are appealing, these full-time internships have cutthroat competition. By sending applications even to unpaid internships, you’ll be casting your net wider and thus increasing your chances of bagging an internship slot that can turn to a full-time job down the line. 

Fine Tune Your Interview Skills

Some companies will interview interns before giving them the internship. This should be your time to shine! Do some research about the company and what they do and prepare to answer questions about how you would be of value to them.

It is also important that you maintain your confidence during the interview. 

How To Turn An Internship Into A Job   

Once you get an internship in a company you’d love to get a full-time job post-graduation, you can use the following techniques to get noticed and ramp up your chances of getting hired: 

  • Develop professional goals so you can be a more competitive candidate
  • Make a good impression by showing your supervisors that you have what it takes. 
  • Develop a strong work ethic
  • Be a polite, friendly, and approachable intern that everyone would love to work with.
  • Complete assigned projects on time
  • Build a rapport with your supervisor
  • Become part of the corporate culture by following company rules, guidelines, and employee codes of ethics. 
  • Communicate with your supervisor and colleagues about your job performance
  • Network diligently. 
  • Exhibit your creativity
  • Keep in touch after your internship

There You Have It! 

If you follow these simple tips, you can easily find and land an internship even in the most competitive organizations.

On the interview date, dress professionally and nail down your pitch to get selected. Once selected, treat the internship as if it were a real job to increase your chances of getting full-time employment.