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Internships are proven to help make candidates more competitive in the job market.  The key to finding the right opportunity is to follow your passions and use them to build valuable skills for your career.  Here are a few tips on how to find and land the perfect internship in college. 

Plan Ahead

Keep in mind there are thousands of college students competing for the same internships, so the best way to ensure you land the perfect opportunity is to be proactive.  Begin looking for internships during winter break or sooner.  Research companies that interest you then contact their human resources department to learn more about what internships might be available.

Use Campus Resources

Set up an appointment with a Career Services representative at your college.  Bring an updated resume and cover letter to receive feedback.  Your resume should highlight your college education, work experience, extracurricular activities, skills, and awards.   A career counselor helps students evaluate past experiences and may provide internship recommendations.

Attend Career Fairs

Most college campuses host career fairs to help students find jobs and internships.  You only get one chance to make a first impression on potential employers, so be prepared.  It is important to be dressed in business attire to present yourself as a professional.  Think of a one-minute ‘elevator pitch’ to motivate recruiters to hire you.  Let them know why you are best person for the job.

Network

Learn to love networking.  According to the Harvard Business Review, professional networks lead to more job and business opportunities, broader and deeper knowledge, improved capacity to innovate, faster advancement, and greater status and authority.   Identify common interests with individuals who have careers you admire and ask them for advice. 

Follow Up

A thank-you note expressing appreciation to potential employers for sharing their time and expertise makes a big impression.  This simple gesture will set you apart from the competition and shows employers you are reliable.

The sky is the limit when searching for the perfect internship.   Use the experience to build the foundation for a successful career by showing your employer a winning attitude and a willingness to work hard.