What You Need to Do to Land a Last-Minute Summer Internship

It’s the first week of June, and college students across the country are gearing up to start their summer internships. But what if you want an internship and don’t yet have one? We know you’re panicking — we’ve all been there. No matter how many internships you apply for, each one has its own competitive hiring process, and receiving rejection letters can be disappointing. It’s even worse if you booked an internship and it fell through. Things happen — offices close, schedules don’t work out. But you have to remember that something else will come up. Every internship program is different, timing-wise, so some companies are hiring their summer interns now, or start their fall program mid-August. Plus, things happen — for the same reason a gig could have fallen through, another could open up. An intern could quit, or a supervisor might need a second intern two weeks into the program. Maybe an entirely different department needs support for a special project. Last-minute internships are often based on circumstances working out in your favor.

Still, there are some important steps you can take to increase your chances of booking a gig. Especially this late in the game, you have to get crafty and search out opportunities. For expert advice directly from HR, Teen Vogue asked Annie Herman, who oversees campus and communities recruitment for the Americas at Dow Jones and The Wall Street Journal, for her tips on nabbing an internship at the last minute.

Take Advantage of LinkedIn

“If you’re seeking an internship, make that a part of your profile by incorporating it into your headline and summary,” Herman says. For example, if you’re a rising sophomore studying communications at Fordham University, and you’re looking for an editorial internship, your LinkedIn headline should say something like, “Communications Student at Fordham University, Seeking Editorial Internship.”

“Recruiters search for candidates using key terms, so if “editorial” and “internship” are in your profile, chances are that someone will stumble upon you with an opportunity,” Herman explains. If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile, it’s time to make one. By regularly posting thought-provoking articles, endorsing your peers, and following companies you’re interested in, you can probably catch the attention of a recruiter.

Expand Your Radar

But while recruiters do check LinkedIn, you need to put in most of the legwork and search out lesser-known opportunities. Everyone checks corporate career portals and sites like The Muse, Indeed, and LinkedIn, so try to figure out if industry-specific job boards exist for your field. That way, you’re competing against a smaller pool of applicants. For example, the publishing industry uses Bookjobs.com and Ed2010 is the go-to for media.

Your radar shouldn’t be limited to job sites, either. A lot of human resources departments (like Conde Nast!) have Twitter accounts that will cross-list job postings, and sometimes individual hiring managers will post opportunities to their own Twitter and LinkedIn accounts. Start following people who work where you want to work, and you’ll be surprised how much you can learn about their companies.

Think Outside the Box

Here’s a pro tip: “Set up a Google Alert for internships specific to your area of interest and location preferences.” If you correctly set up your alert, you should get an email every time a relevant internship is posted. But who says you should limit yourself to an internship? What if you’re qualified for a temp, freelance, or contractor role? Some companies will hire college students as temporary employees, fellows, or externs over the summer. Herman agrees this is worth pursuing. “Companies hire students for temp or project-based work frequently.”

Send the Cold Email

We’ve got news for you. Cold emails work. “If you don’t see something posted on a company website but are interested in working for that company, reach out to the recruiter on LinkedIn and follow up,” Herman says. “If you do it right, it shows that you’re proactive and smart. If you bombard the recruiter and call them every second to check on your application status, this may hinder your chances of landing an opportunity.” Most recruiters and hiring managers will list their emails on their LinkedIn, so if you send a polite email (with your resume attached) expressing your interest in obtaining a summer internship at their company, you can only increase your chances of landing the next opportunity that arises.

Use Your Networks

Networking is never a bad thing. The more people know and like you, the more they’ll be keeping you in mind for upcoming opportunities. “The career center might be closed for the summer, but that doesn’t mean you can’t email your counselor so that they can check in with you and keep you on their radar when new opportunities arise,” Herman explains. “You can also connect with alumni services and they can put you in contact with professionals from your school who may work at companies of interest.” Politely email these professionals and explain that you’re a student interested in working in their field. “Take them to coffee, ask them about their career, and then bring up that you’re seeking internship opportunities.” The same goes for alumni of campus extracurricular, Greek Life, and national student groups. After you meet with them, promptly send along a handwritten thank-you note.

And In the Worst-Case Scenario…

If things are looking bleak, and you ultimately can’t find an internship, think about other ways to build your resume. Top-notch internships are not the only way to stand out in the post-graduation job search. Do something that will serve the same purpose as an internship. “Take a college class or get certified in a skill which pertains to your area of study. Volunteer with a relevant organization. For example, if you’re interested in event planning, join a community organization and organize events,” Herman suggests. “Get a summer job in your hometown, look for project-based or freelance work, do something to build your personal brand.” In other words, show recruiters that you care enough about what you’re studying to pursue it in some capacity over the summer. Do something you’re truly passionate about, and your summer won’t go wasted.

Source- teenvogue.com

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