Wondering how to get ahead of the competition for a summer internship? It’s internship season right now, which means building up your resume to present your best self to employers. Good internships are tough to get, especially if you don’t have any experience, and with so many competitors for the same positions, you may find yourself worried about your odds. Here are five simple tips for how to get ahead of the competition for a summer internship that you can use to make yourself stand out from the pack and build your confidence.
1. Be Ahead of the Game
Most students don’t start thinking about summer internships until the spring semester, but that is WAY late for most of the really good ones. A lot of big-name company internship applications are due in January and February, so you should always be on the lookout for a summer internship application. You can never start too early, and you can even email the hiring manager of a company you’re interested in if they haven’t posted anything about internships yet. Getting ahead of everyone else is the best answer for how to get ahead of the competition for a summer internship.
2. Cast a Wide(ish) Net
Some people have a really specific idea of what they want to do with their lives, and what kind of internship they want. However, most students don’t stick with the major they entered college with. That just goes to show that you may have no idea what you want to do. Applying to anything and everything that appeals to you could give you options for the summer, and may even lead you to something you had no idea you’d love.
3. Talk to EVERYONE You Know, and Some You Don’t
You never know who knows someone who could really help you out with getting an internship, or even a job. So many professionals say that in some fields, getting a job is all about who you know. TRY and know people, and if they work in the field you want to work in, ask a lot of questions, and don’t be afraid to ask for help and advice. Friends and acquaintances are usually willing to help out in any way they can, and even if they aren’t, there’s no downside in asking. This could be the key to getting an interview or application you otherwise would have never known about.
4. Utilize Your School’s Resources
Some schools have internships they suggest for certain majors, and they make it really easy by sending out links to the application and company websites. Even if your school doesn’t have this kind of resource, you can always use career advising or a professor you trust to help you brush up your resume to make sure it is strong and has no errors. Any sort of spelling or grammar error can get your resume in the trash bin in an instant.
5. Learn to Write a Killer Cover Letter
In really popular internships, there are thousands of applicants and only a few spots. These kinds of internships are extremely daunting, but understanding the process that the company uses to choose their interns can help you put yourself on the short list for snagging the dream job. On websites like Indeed and Glassdoor, there are comments from past employees that can give you tips on what got them the job. A lot of the selection process for many of the companies has to do with the cover letter. Some popular internships even use keyword searches to weed out some of the applicants, so make sure to use strong and active words to make yourself stand out from the pack. Also, make sure you know who you are sending the letter to, and do your research on the company so you know how to appeal to them.