5 Ways to Jump Start your Internship Prep over Winter Break

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If you’re planning on having an internship in the spring or summer, winter break is the prime time to start researching what’s out there. For a number of internships, the application process starts three to four months in advance. With food, family, gifting and receiving on the agenda, you’ll be able to focus in a relaxed, satisfied mindset, rather than experience the rushed and procrastination-inducing habits that may surface in the thick of the semester. Believe us, self-motivation produces the best results! Here are five tips to scoring an interview for your dream internship:

1. Get to Know Your Options 

Cast a wide net and research as many companies as possible. Of course in this day and age, 99.99% of companies have a website and more increasingly, a social media presence. Follow your companies of interest on Twitter – they might share internship openings, making it easy for you to be one of the first to review the qualifications and apply. It’s also important to research the company culture. Visit the careers section of the website to investigate the values of company. Do you get a sense that the internship program will be a good hands-on learning experience or does it seem like they’re just looking for someone to make copies and coffee runs? If the latter, avoid it! Internships are suppose to be more beneficial to you than the company.

2. Ready that Resume 

After you’ve found a handful of internships you’d like to apply for, start targeting your resume to meet the job responsibilities. You’ll want to put down past experiences that demonstrate your interest in your field of interest as well as anything that conveys organizational and time management skills, and ability to collaborate. Low on experience? Volunteer work, extracurriculars, and any student leadership positions you may have held are more than relevant. Keep your resume to one page – be clear and concise and use strong action verbs to emphasize each bullet point. Websites like cvmaker.com can make this often consuming task a piece of cake.

3. Perfect your Cover Letter

It’s time to shine. Don’t make the mistake of sending out the same cover letter to each company. The letter should be personalized and convey why you’d be a good fit for the internship and company offering it. This is where your background research on the company will come  into play. Try to tie in anything that stands out as unique to that company to why you’re interested in their program.

4.  Proofread, Review, Proofread Again 

Prepping in advance will give you ample time to proofread your resume and cover letter(s) before sending them off. Have a trusted friend, family member, or mentor read your materials to check grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Be open to suggestions!

5. Clean Up your Profiles 

So you come off as a stellar applicant on paper, but what about “on screen”? Hopefully you’ve got your privacy settings in check, but if you have public social media profiles, make sure you give off a good impression. If you don’t have one already, create a LinkedIn profile – bolster it to reflect your resume, academics, and achievements, and don’t forget a polished picture. Pro tip: Provide a link to your  LinkedIn profile on your resume. 

 

Image source: http://www.sparkpr.com

Original Post Date: December 20th, 2013

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