The internship search process can feel overwhelming, so it’s helpful to break it into manageable steps. The good news is you don’t have to do every step-in order. For example, you can start working on your resume before you identify what you want to do. Just start checking off as many of these activities as you can, and you’ll find yourself on the way to a great internship opportunity.
Step 1: Know yourself
- Identify your personal strengths, skills, interests, and values.
- Make a list of possible job functions/fields of interest.
- Identify 3-5 career titles to further investigate that relate to your interests, skills, and values.
Step 2: Know what you are looking for in an internship
- Create a list of specific skills you are looking to gain from your internship–this will help you with your search and writing cover letters.
- Generate a list of industries and companies where you may want to pursue for your internship.
- Research potential career fields: typical entry-level jobs, typical salaries, best geographic location for jobs, etc.
- Determine the geographic areas where you’d like to be located during my internship.
- Identify 10 potential internship sites/opportunities that offer the type of experience I am seeking. Recommended resources: Handshake, LinkedIn Jobs, & Work and Learn Indiana
Step 3: Get ready for the search
- Activate Handshake Account and create your profile via iupui.joinhandshake.com
- Update your Resume.
- Create a resume for each type of internships you are looking for (IT role, Graphic Design, Video Production, etc.)
- Build up your portfolio and have a faculty member look at it. Don’t forget to link it in your resume and LinkedIn!
- Update your LinkedIn account in case a recruiter looks for you there. Don’t forget to change that headline to “Seeking Internship in _
- Talk to your academic advisor about your internship interests and the possibilities of earning academic credit.
- Get your resume and cover letter(s) reviewed for feedback.
- Develop a “30-second speech” for short encounters with internship sites.
- Identify and contact three individuals who will serve as references who are NOT related to you.
- Develop your interview skills through a mock interview.
- Acquire interview attire that is appropriate for the field in which you plan to work. Recommended resource: Paws Closet
- Update your voicemail to make sure it is a professional greeting in case a recruiter reaches out to you for an interview.
Step 4: Start searching
- Regularly (at least twice a week) check Handshake, LinkedIn, and Work and Learn Indiana for internship new postings.
- Create a system for keeping track of applications, contacts, interviews, and other job-search activities.
- Follow-up on every interesting internship lead immediately by connecting with an HR representative or hiring supervisor.
- Develop a list of potential networking contacts and keep in touch with them. Recommended resource: LinkedIn
- Send thank you e-mails to every person who interviews me and add them on LinkedIn.
Adapted by Karley Clayton from Liberal Arts Career Services/University of Texas-Austin.