How to Land Your Dream Internship
Landing an internship can be difficult, especially if it’s your first one. Even with experience, the process can feel challenging and discouraging. Summer internships are getting closer and there is not better time to prepare than the present. Run over this quick checklist to make sure you are setting yourself up for success.
- Look over your resume
One way to ensure that your resume stacks up and will get you through to the interview round is to make sure you are pulling keywords from the job description. Most of the time, your resume isn’t reviewed by a person when you first submit it; it goes through computer software to see how compatible you are with the role. Also, make sure your resume is up to date and accurate. Don’t forget to add those software skills and platforms you learned in your classes.
- Use the Career Center
The career center is an excellent resource to help you during the process of searching for an internship. They can assist in reviewing and revising your resume, running through practice interview questions, writing a cover letter, and informing you of additional opportunities. It never hurts to get a second set of eyes on a piece of writing you do.
- Talk with your Mentor of a Professor
Fostering relationships with your professors during your time as a student is great for many reasons, one being that it’s an excellent way to grow your network. If you are already close to a professor or have a mentor in the industry, talk to them and see what advice they can give. They may be able to recommend you for a position they know, or you can use them as a referral if the application process requires it.
- Do your Research
Most degrees come with many potential career paths. Make sure that the internship you chose aligns with your career goals and that you will be learning skills that you can utilize in the future. Be strategic about where you apply for internships so that you can make the most out of your experience.
- Write a Cover Letter
Cover letters can sound scary and tedious, but this is where you can make yourself shine. They are great for highlighting your excitement for the position and expanding on your different skills and interests that your resume may not fully capture. Again, always have someone you trust look over your work.
- Update your Website/Portfolio/Writing Samples
Many internships will want to see some of the work you have done in your program to get a sense of where you are at and what you can bring to the role. Have 2-3 writing samples picked out that you can send their way. If you have a website or portfolio, make sure that it is updated and linked in your resume.
- Network, Network, Network
Whether it's at career fairs, over LinkedIn, or in person at UT, take the time to build relationships with your peers, fellow alumni, professors, and grad students. Everyone wants you to succeed, and 99% of the time people will take the time to help a fellow longhorn.
While this list is not exhaustive, it should help you as you begin to navigate the world of internships. Keep an eye out for our next article that will give you tips to succeed once you land your internship