When you’re a young adult who is preparing to enter the workforce, one of the best things you can do for your career path is to start with an internship. This way, you can get experience working in the field you’re interested in, as well as make new connections with professionals in your industry. In some cases, you might even end up with a job after the internship ends, since many employers hire the interns who impress them. So how can you get an internship? Take a look at the following tips on what to do before you apply, and where to look for an internship once you’re ready.
1. Make a Resume
Before you even look for internships, make sure you have a resume to show, since you’ll need one to apply for positions. If you don’t already have one, you can use a template online to create one. The Job Network and Monster both have examples you can use to write an internship resume. Once you write it, ask someone to proofread it to make sure there aren’t any typos, since even one could take you out of the running for an in-demand internship!
2. Prepare for Interviews
Another step you should take before you apply for internships is to be ready for interviews. Whether you interview overthe phone or in person, your best bet is to be prepared to answer some common interview questions. So practice your answers before any interview you get, and make sure you know what to wear and how to make a good first impression in general. If you’re still not feeling confident, consider taking a resume/interview skills workshop to strengthen your application.
3. Contact Your School’s Career Center
If you’re in high school or college, your school should have resources for students who want to find an internship as graduation approaches. At most schools, the career center is an underutilized spot on campus that most students forget about until they want work experience. So, the staff at your school’s career center will likely be happy to help you find an internship in a field you’re interested in. They should be able to give you a list of companies that are looking for interns, as well as tips on applying.
4. Make a List of Companies You Want to Work for
Not all companies advertise their internship opportunities, so they won’t all appear on a list. If there’s a business nearby that you’ve always admired and want to work for, send an email or call the office to find out if it offers internships. If the business doesn’t already have a program in place, maybe your interest in one will be just the spark necessary to start one!
5. Ask Friends and Family If Their Employers Need Interns
Let friends and relatives know you’re in the market for an internship so they can forward your resume to their employer. After all, knowing someone at the company can give you an advantage, as 30 to 50 percent of hires in the US come from referrals. If there’s a lot of competition for internships in your area, you’ll want that extra boost of knowing someone at the company.
6. Talk to Local Organizations
Finally, you can leverage local organizations that have connections with multiple companies, as they can help you land an internship with a partner. For example, ACYR offers training opportunities to Phoenix youth, helping young adults get access to training, hands-on job experience, and internship offers with local companies.
Getting an internship is a great way to begin the path to your dream job. When you put these tips to work, you should feel comfortable sending in your resume and using your interview skills as you apply for internships that will help you start your career!