Us interns here at FableVision have been in your shoes (and we very well might be again!). Internship-hunting can be stressful, confusing, and fairly intimidating. We’re here to give you eight quick tips that should give you a kickstart to your journey, as well as provide some guidance along the way.
1. Get a head start.
Give yourself a good six months to become familiar with the businesses or organizations you're interested in. Preliminary research is key, and that takes a decent amount of time. Internships are competitive, especially in Boston and other major cities. Time and research makes you a more competitive applicant. All of this will lead to…
2. A rockin' cover letter.
Most internship applications require at least a cover letter and your resume. The cover letter is important: this is where you get to show off all your research and company familiarity! Keep it straightforward - you don't want to waste their time - and don't be afraid to brag a bit. They want to know why they should choose you, so tell them!
3. Shoot for the stars... and have a back up.
Maybe you've seen the movie The Internship, and ever since you've dreamed of interning at Google. That's awesome! But it's also extremely competitive (sorry for the reality check). Go ahead and apply to those big, dream-status places, but also apply to some less competitive ones. Find out what internships are available in your town. Even if you intern for a small, locally-owned business, getting experience is what ultimately matters. And who knows, maybe you'll discover a passion for small businesses in the process!
4. Use other colleges' resources.
When I was internship-hunting, I used my college's internship lists and database. Unfortunately, it was not a very extensive list for what I was looking for (editorial and marketing internships). I found myself on UCONN's and BU's internship resources for their students, which was much more extensive and thorough. You have free access to it, so why not use it?
5. Don’t be afraid to ask friends and family for help.
Maybe you have a family friend who is in the same industry and could provide invaluable advice on where to apply, what they are looking for in an intern, etc. Many people look down on using “connections” as a means to an internship, but remember: it only gets your foot in the door. It’s up to you to make the most of your opportunities and show them what you can do.
6. Interview with your personality.
Your cover letter and resume may provide the skeleton, but it’s up to your interview to put some meat on those bones. An interview tells your potential employer about your personality and allows you to show how competent, charming, and good-looking (optional) you really are. Remember: don’t act like someone you are not! Honesty is the best policy. A mix of professional knowledge and personal anecdotes can go a long way.
7. Dress to impress
If you are lucky enough to get an interview, just remember: it’s better to be overdressed than underdressed.
8. Breathe. You did it!
Internship hunting can be a really stressful process, especially if you have submitted a dozen CVs and have zero new messages in your inbox. Just remember, everyone is going through this same process. Take a step back, stretch your legs, relax. You’ve done your best, and that’s something to feel proud of.
If you follow these eight steps, we’re pretty sure you’ll have a great shot at landing an internship. Good luck, and know that you’ve done your best!