How to score an internship
‘Tis the season! Students and recent grads are starting to look for internships to fill their summer or end off their semester. Internships are a great way for young people with limited professional experience to gain some real working experience and get their foot in the door of a company.
Internships can be the stepping-stone for something bigger or long-term for a lot of recent graduates and students. Finding an internship that will benefit you now and in the future is the key to nailing a good opportunity.
So, you may be asking: “How do I find a good internship?”
Look within your network
The best place to find a good internship is within your own network. Perhaps a former professor or mentor knows of internship opportunities that aren’t posted online. Test the waters with people that have influence and see what they know. Bring up your request formally and have your intentions know. Let them know what you’re interested in, what your field of study is and your experience. A personal reference or recommendation is the best way to find an internship.
LinkedIn is a wealth of resource when you’re looking for new opportunities. Not only should you be looking for internships within your newsfeed, but you should also be looking on company pages, in groups and through the search bar. There’s even a job section that has internships posted – you can search for keyword, location and more. Make sure your LinkedIn profile and resume are up-to-date so you can give the best impression from the start. Here’s a guide on updating your LinkedIn profile and here’s how to write a stellar resume.
Use Google to your advantage
Perhaps the go-to option for anyone for everything, good ol’ Google. Google is a great way to find out of the ordinary postings and opportunities. However, there is a trick: keyword search. Google has so many pages to search through that your search will have to be specific. This is a drawback because it limits you from seeing all the potential options due to the extreme number of pages. Try something like “marketing internship Toronto” and see what pops up. Every person’s search result will be different based on location and settings. But Google is a great resource to start hunting broadly.
With a wealth of knowledge and resources, JobMinders is a great place to look for internships. You can filter by sector, location and keyword. All the information is posted regarding the opportunity including description, salary (if applicable) and how to apply. Don’t forget to check out our blog as well! We feature lots of great tips and how-to articles to make sure you get hired fast.
For the smaller companies that can’t afford to advertise their internship opportunities, platforms like Indeed and Kijiji are great ways to find an in. You can even set up alerts for keywords and you will be notified when a new position is posted. When searching for a position, be careful to check the legitimacy of the opportunity. Anyone can post on these websites so it’s important to do your due diligence first.
Local job networks
If you live in a bigger city, chances are there is a local job network. This could, for example, be Employment Ontario centres or other similar organizations. Often, these centres get government funding to employ or place student/recent graduates in internships or jobs. There are usually partnerships set up within a city between the city or province and entrepreneurs – entrepreneurs need skilled workers and students need jobs so it’s win win!
Colleges and universities want to help student get jobs and internships. Your school or faculty may have a job board/network or listing site where opportunities are posted. A lot of the time, these postings are looking for students still in school or recently graduated, meaning minimal experience is required. Score! The key here is searching early and often. There are minimal postings with lots of competition. Keep your eye out early and check the page frequently.
The key to finding a great internship is knowing your options and securing it early. Large companies often take interns yearly, so even if you aren’t ready to do an internship this year, use our tips to generate a list of options for next year.
Author: Amy Richardson, Contributor