How to Apply to Internships

Succeed in College
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As a college student, you may hear a lot of buzz around internships. As the job market becomes increasingly competitive, internships are becoming a staple of the college experience. Not only do internships add work experience to your resume, but you get to learn about your internship work sector, you’ll expand your network, and you’ll develop professional skills. Use this checklist to keep you on track for landing an internship!

1. Know where to look! Not sure what type of internship opportunities are out there?

  • Visit your college’s career services website. There should be a page dedicated to internship information, specifically current internship opportunities and sites where current and former students have interned.
  • LinkedIn, Indeed, GlassDoor & Hand Shake are a few internship and job search engines.
  • Ask your coach if they know of any internship opportunities!

2. Review the application type and required application materials

  • Do they ask for a resume (or CV) and cover letter?
  • Do you submit the application through the company website? Through LinkedIn or Indeed? Through email
  • Are there supplemental application questions or materials?
  • Do you need references or letters of recommendation?

“Having an internship is a new kind of experience for your professional development because it offers you the chance to use the skills you learn in your coursework and apply them to a real-world setting. Not every internship is the same, and some can be bad, but it does teach you what kind of environment you want to work in and the work you want to do and don’t want to do in your future career.”

Kierra S., Texas State University

3. Create or update your college resume!

  • Check your college’s career services website to:
    • Find helpful tools for crafting your resume. 
    • Set up an advising appointment to have a career specialist review your resume 
  • Check out this CoFo Resource: Nail Your Resume in 6 Steps
  • Your Coach is also a great resource for providing feedback on your resume.

4. Create a cover letter

  • Check your college’s career services website to:
    • Find cover letter tools and resources.
    • Set up an advising appointment for a career specialist review your cover letter
  • Ask your coach for any cover letter questions, tips, and feedback.

“Interning gave me the opportunity to apply the skills I had learned in the classroom to real world problems and helped learn more about the type of work that I want to and don't want to do in the future. Additionally, over the summer I was able to develop my networking skills by connecting with various individuals”

Jesus M., Stanford University

5. Prepare for an interview!

  • Check out these Common Internship Questions and prepare some answers with a friend or even your Coach!
  • Do your research on the organization/company and the interviewer (if applicable).
  • Prepare at least three questions for the interviewer. Here are some example questions:
    • What skills do you look for in an intern?
    • How does your company/organization prepare interns for the workforce?
    • What has been your favorite part of working with this company/organization?
  • If you have a video interview, be sure to check out these Video Interview Tips.

6. During the interview

  • Make sure you look clean and neat; check out these interview dress tips.
  • Take your time answering interview questions; it’s better to pause and think about your answer than use “um,” “hm,” “uhh” to fill the silence!

7. Follow-up

"When I first started my internship with College Forward, I was super nervous and afraid that I would not do my best, but with the amazing staff at College Forward, I learned to get out of my shell and grow as an individual. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there, and as always ask questions. I have been interning for College Forward for almost 2 years and I have loved every moment of it. Internships can be the beginning of your career “awakening” where you really grow and learn about you and your goals."

Daniel G., ACC Round Rock

SkillsBuild Learning Plan

Check out CoFo’s Learning Plan: All About Internships on IBM SkillsBuild, where CoFo students can explore activities that will set them up for cover letter success!

Join College Forward on SkillsBuild for access to more of our Learning Plans! Click here to register!

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