How to Land a Summer Internship

AFS Team·15 April 2016·4 min read
How to Land a Summer Internship

1.) Research

Nothing can be stressed more than in-depth research when it comes to landing a summer internship. It is important to research beyond the common job websites and utilise all the available networks such as careers centres. It is also helpful to contact smaller or more local companies. For instance, if you are interested in marketing, there may be a small business in a completely different field that is in need of a marketing intern for a new logo. Be prepared to think outside the box! If you do receive a reply from a company or an interview, you should fully research the position you are applying for and the general structure of the company.

2.) Tenacity

Once you have applied for some internships and sent a few emails, tenacity is the key quality to go by. There certainly is a mark to overstep, but there is no harm in sending a few follow up emails. If you haven’t heard back from an application in a few weeks you could drop them a line to check they have received all of your information or whether they need any more materials from you. Equally, don’t hesitate to ask how long it is likely to take them to respond as your enquiry will show that you’re being proactive and extremely interested in the position.

3.) Be flexible

Summer holidays are precious periods for all students. Before you book a flight to Thailand or Croatia, remember that your need to keep your options open for planning summer internships. If you really want to land an internship, you should be planning your holiday around your internship dates. If employers want to know your availability, they are more likely to take you seriously if you are free for the whole summer rather than one specific week in between your travels.

4.) Use any possible connections

It is unfortunate to have to say that nepotism and networking go along way in finding a summer internship. It is generally accepted that having a contact to get your foot in the door significantly improves your prospects. Don’t be afraid to ask people in your wider circles for any contacts. Try to think of the careers of any older friends or people’s parents to help you in your research. Equally, any previous employers may have some connections they can share with you. If you live in a small town or a more rural area, it is useful to think about anyone living in larger cities that you could stay with for a few weeks to cut down on costs.

5.) Improve your CV

Most internships and summer jobs will require the application of a standard CV and cover letter. A well-written and professional CV can really boost your chances, especially if it is well organised and fully proof read for typos. As career centres will tell you, tailoring your CV to a specific internship will help you stand out and look like a highly suitable candidate for the role. You should also spend a lot of time on your cover letter as it is your chance to express your interest in the field, professionalism and your previous experience.

By Nina Harris