How To Get a 2018 Summer Internship To Start Your Career in 10 Steps

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Table of Contents



1. Find a Summer Internship To Start Your Career in 10 Steps
2. Ready To Write a Resume for That Summer Internship?

As a college student or recent graduate, you probably want to start taking steps to launch your career. A summer internship is a great way to do that. While these positions do not necessarily guarantee your placement in a specific field, they do help you learn about your industry of interest, develop transferable skills, and enhance your resume.

There are plenty of guidelines out there to help you make the most of your internship, but before you follow that advice, you need to know how to actually land the position. Read the following tips to learn how to get an internship to jumpstart your career. With our help, you can find exciting opportunities that may lead to even better job options in the future.

Find a Summer Internship To Start Your Career in 10 Steps


1. Know what interests you


Arthur Obrenski, a business owner with 35 years of hiring experience, believes the first step in finding a summer internship is understanding what you want. “Know what industry you hope to pursue,” he counsels. “Target companies you admire.”

Think about both your major and your other interests to get a better idea of what kind of role you want. “Figure out what skills you hope to develop and what connections you want to make,” Obrenski advises.

2. Use your college career center


Don’t underestimate the importance of your college career center. It can offer career counselors, resume-writing workshops, and other tools to help you figure out how to get an internship this summer. Some centers have extensive internship databases, and many even schedule job fairs to help you meet prospective employers.

If you haven’t utilized your career center, Obrenski recommends starting now. “It is not too late. Visit the office today and make an appointment with a counselor,” he says.

3. Turn to college networks


Think of the possible connections you can make at your school. Talk to professors in your field and fellow students who share similar majors. You may find someone willing to refer you for an open internship.

“If your college offers a program to help you connect with alumni, take advantage of this opportunity immediately,” encourages Obrenski. “Alumni went through this process themselves at one point and already learned how to get an internship. They can give you advice as you search, and some may even have potential positions for you.”

4. Network with everyone you know


Remember that networks exist outside of your school as well. It is possible to find excellent connections through your friends, family, and other acquaintances.

Remember that networks exist outside of your school as well. It is possible to find excellent connections through your friends, family, and other acquaintances.

Obrenski suggests talking to everyone you know about your goals for this summer. “Communicate your desire to gain experience in a specific industry. You never know — a friend of a friend, your aunt’s former business partner, or your neighbor’s brother-in-law may be that loose connection you need to land an internship.”

5. Search job boards


“Many people who went through the process of learning how to get an internship will tell you that you cannot rely on networking alone,” Obrenski states. “Referrals are great, but stay proactive and search for potential positions yourself as well.”

Most college career centers offer job boards. There are also numerous online platforms dedicated specifically to internships. Use these sources to find prospects in your industry.

6. Perfect your resume


Employers are more likely to take a chance on you if you present them with an impressive resume. Your resume should showcase your education, skills, and other qualifications in a way that is appropriate for your industry.

“If you follow every other tip on how to get an internship but fail to submit a professional resume, all of your efforts may still fall short of securing you the position,” Obrenski cautions. “Make your document stand out in format, content, and style to set yourself apart.” For help creating such a document, follow helpful writing guidelines.

7. Start applying now


Don’t wait until June to apply for a summer internship. “If you think it is too early to start applying, think again,” instructs Obrenski. “Many companies select a summer intern in the beginning of spring, if not earlier.”

Avoid scrambling for the few positions still available come summertime. Start applying now. This gives you time to find more opportunities and send more applications, which increases your chances of landing a great role.

8. Apply to as many internships as possible


You don’t want just any kind of internship — you want to know how to get an internship that will benefit you in the long run. “If you apply for five positions, you may receive one offer — or none,” Obrenski relates. “If you apply for 20, you may receive multiple offers and get the chance to choose the best option for you.”

You don’t want just any kind of internship — you want to know how to get an internship that will benefit you in the long run.

Try to apply for a few positions every week. The more applications you submit, the more likely you are to find the best role for your future career.

9. Nail the interview


“If you receive an invitation to interview with a prospective employer, you’re almost there,” Obrenski says. “The interview is one of the last stages in securing a position. If you know how to interview, you know how to get an internship.”

Wear professional attire and speak clearly and confidently. Make eye contact and smile. Before your meeting, rehearse your answers to questions that are likely to arise. Practice interviewing with your career counselor, mentors, friends, and family.

10. Remember to follow up


After you apply or interview, follow up with the hiring manager. It is understandable if you do not want to seem too pushy or annoying. At the same time, you do not want to miss an opportunity because you didn’t remind an employer of your interest in the role.

“Find the balance,” Obrenski recommends. “Definitely follow up, but wait an adequate amount of time between your emails or telephone calls to the interviewers.” In most cases, it is appropriate to wait about a week.

Ready To Write a Resume for That Summer Internship?



If you follow these tips, you can better understand how to get an internship that puts you on the career path you want. Set yourself apart from the rest of the pack by creating a customized resume with the help of our resume builder. It is easy to use and can help you craft a document that puts you in a better position to get the internship you want.