Unique Ways to Find Internships

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By JC Ryan

Internships are not awarded to wallflowers. Waiting for an invitation or an opportunity may well cause stagnation and a poor impression in your field of endeavor. Don’t be left without a worm: Go out and get your internship!

Standard Venues

Don’t overlook standard methods and traditional selection processes. Apply for positions that may be highly competitive: Someone is going to get it. Throw your resume hat into the arena.

  1. Business Applications: Send or carry your resume to a business that uses your career field. Complete an application while on location. The business may not have an opening at that time, but if you get your foot in the door, you’re already ahead of the game. If you can arrange an information appointment with a department head or a human resources representative, you can improve the impression you leave behind. Keep those appointments away from pleading for a position, but within more general terms. Find out exactly how that enterprise—and often others like it—use interns within your specialty. Discover how they view interns and internships. Always dress appropriately even when just dropping off a resume. Remember the impression you wish to leave.
  2. Job Fairs: Job fairs offer the epitome of time management and consolidation of effort. Within a day or two, you have the opportunity to present applications and resumes to a plethora of potential employers or internship sponsors. Do not overlook this opportunity! It could be the only time a potential internship position is recruited.
  3. Job Boards: Posting a resume and an internship request provides multitudes of employers a chance to review your initial qualifications and expectations. While not as interactive as job fairs, don’t surf the job sites only for openings: Advertise yourself as well.
  4. Advertisements: Whether on electronic or traditional ad venues, posting an ad for your services and qualifications increases the exposure to the business community. The more chances of discovery you offer, the greater the chance that you’ll be found.
  5. Social Networks: Touch up your social network sites. If your current ones are too personally oriented, make new ones with a professional profile. Become friends, fans or tweeters with businesses and industries that interest you. Comment on their blogs and, if allowed, link to your professional network pages. Use every social network on the Internet and link your pages together. Subscribe to RSS feeds. Join professional email and newsletter lists. Contribute content and use your resource box with your business-related email address or social network links. Don’t forget the oldest networking system in the world: Talk with people. Join professional clubs or organizations. Get your name known. Someone knows someone who knows someone who needs your qualifications. If people in the know don’t know you are available, who dropped the ball? Friends, family members, classmates, and school personnel may know of intern opportunities. Talk with them; touch base a more than once—don’t let time or timing lessen your chances.

Non-Standard Venues

Be creative in your quest for an internship. Attach your resume with a high-quality want ad instead of a standard cover letter. Don’t go overboard, but the alternative format certainly catches the jaundiced eyes of department heads and human resource managers.

  1. Address inquiries directly to department heads and not just to HR directors.
  2. Ask for information and not just an opportunity. If the reader has less opportunity to feel pressured, you increase your chances of learning of internships both within and without that company.
  3. Don’t send just a handful of inquiries. Send one to every business, manufacturer and job recruiter that needs your field of study.

Summary

When searching for internship opportunities, don’t just ‘think outside the box.’ Think within the box, then think beyond it.

Author Information

JC Ryan is a freelance writer for MyCollegesandCareers.com. My Colleges and Careers helps people determine if an online education is right for them and helps them understand which online courses and online schools they can choose from to reach their goals.

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Categories: Career Planning