Summer Internship Applicants: Start Your Search Now

Fri, Dec 17, 2010

Internship Information

It is about to be January, which means the prime application season for summer internships is almost here. Many companies will be evaluating their current staffers after the first of the year, which means they’ll also decide whether they need interns to help carry the weight around in the months that most regular employees will put their umbrellas up on a beach in the Tropics for a week, leaving the office a little more understaffed than usual.

What to do before applying

  1. Make sure your resume is “perfect:” After editing, have someone else look over your final copy to make sure you didn’t miss any errors or formatting issues. Also, check for accuracy and that all of the dates are in the same format.
  2. Let your references know: Tell the people you are giving as references on your application that you are applying for a specific job. This way, if they do get a call or other correspondence from the hiring agency, they expect it and can tailor their response to help you get hired.
  3. Put any supplementary materials together: Some jobs may require samples of your work. If so, make sure you are sending the appropriate clips and samples, as requested by the employer. Taking the time to choose the work that will appeal most to the organization will pay off in the end.
  4. Seek out the places you want to work: You will have to filter through many job postings, but only apply to the ones you think you might actually be interested in. Take time to evaluate the company as a whole and ask questions. Ending up somewhere you don’t want to work probably won’t be the best morale booster.
  5. Get on e-mail lists and join the job search Web sites: This is one of the most important steps that will keep you connected to the world of internships. Some companies let you post a resume and they will send you an e-mail when your credentials match what they are looking for. Sign up for a few of these services and scan them carefully if they land in your inbox.

When to officially start looking

When students ask when they should start looking for a summer position, The Career Center staff at UC Berkeley says, “Begin searching in the preceding fall semester in order to take full advantage of all the resources and listings available to you. Some deadlines are very early! Beginning early allows you to more evenly balance the time required to conduct a successful summer job search with other demands on your time. Being better informed will help you make better use of academic breaks to investigate summer job possibilities.”

By Kelly Mclendon. Kelly is studying Environmental Policy and Journalism. She can be reached at mclendon.kelly@gmail.com.

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