It might be time to switch the nightly routine of scrolling through Pinterest to scrolling through Indeed.com if you’re looking for an internship for next summer. Writing cover letters, printing copy after copy of your resume and making trips to Plattsburgh State’s Career and Development Center may become a part of your daily routine.
But why has the search started so early? Students all over the country have gone back to school in September and started applying for summer 2017 internships shortly after.
PSUC Career and Development Center employee Diana Gaona thinks the competitive nature of internships has caused companies to push their deadlines earlier.
“The job market is so competitive, that students have to have experience before they graduate and search for a job,” Gaona said. “If you try to go into the field with no experience at all, it will be really hard to find a job.”
Another issue many students are facing is a lot of these companies are looking for interns who have already had prior experience; making it even more difficult to land the position.
“Some companies want to get the best out of the students,” Gaona said. “So some are looking for students who have already had an internship.”
Gaona suggests making sure that students have good references from previous jobs.
“If they have the time, I feel like students should start working any job they can—whether it be serving tables or working in retail, that way you’re getting experience and building references,” Gaona said.
So you have three solid references, a resume, and a cover letter and you’re getting ready to email the company you want to intern for. Before clicking “send ,” double and triple-check your resume, according to the educational website, investopedia.com.
Don’t just trust your computer’s spell-check program, and have someone else look over it as well. Check for spelling and grammar errors, but also areas where the truth may be exaggerated. You can’t say that you held a position in the entertainment industry if you were a movie theater ticket taker.
PSUC international business major Julissa Vera believes applying for internships early gives you a better chance of securing one before the summer.
“Depending on what type of internship students are looking for and where, it can be very challenging,” Vera said. “I figured I’d start looking now, for next summer, because I’ll probably have a better chance of getting hired.”
Vera feels that having an internship under her belt is crucial to finding a job after graduation. Right now she is interning for University Tees, an online t-shirt design company. But that hasn’t stopped her from applying to companies for next summer.
“I feel like I’ll have more experience to put on my resume that could possibly impress future companies that I’d work for, or maybe I could get a full-time position with the company that I interned for,” Vera said.
Vera has been applying for internships in sales and supply chain, and her biggest challenge has been not knowing exactly where to look for positions.
The best websites to turn to when looking for internships are: internships.com, idealist.org, and experience.com, according to the Huffington Post. Each of these websites focus on internship positions only, so you’re not left shuffling through a list of management level jobs to find what you’re looking for.
However, it’s important to utilize the resources provided to you as a student. All PSUC students have access to Careershift.com because the school sponsors all subscriptions. On this website, students can type in what they’re looking for, the desired area, right down to the mile radius for which they are willing to commute. Students can also save jobs and apply to them later, look up employees who work at the company, and even search to see where their school’s alumni are working. Being able to search employees of the company, allows you to contact someone directly, showing that you did your homework.
After you’ve found an internship on Careershift, you’ve found a person to directly contact, and you’re triple checking your resume. Don’t underestimate your experience.
Experience comes in many forms. Emphasize anything you’ve done that relates to the position. If you’re applying for a position in the finance field and were a member of the mock investing club, took special economics classes, and won CNBC’s Million Dollar Portfolio Challenge, include those in the resume, according to investopedia.com. Although the process of applying for internships may often seem tedious, it’s important to gain the experience now for when it’s time to apply for full-time positions later. Your resume will thank you in the end.
For any students who need help writing a resume or cover letter, or simply looking for an internship, visit PSUC’s Career and Development Center in the Angell College Center.
Email Ashleigh Choppa at firstname.lastname@example.org