Mandy Bular, Negosentro | As summer draws near, you and many other college students will be scrambling to get that internship. In fact, by May, many of these positions will have been taken as most companies will have been recruiting interns throughout the year.
That is not to say that you should give up. While the positions may not be as abundant as they are in February, you should still be able to find one provided you are diligent in your efforts and smart about your searching. Follow the below tips to improve your chances of snagging a great summer job.
Ask the right questions
Summer jobs for students may not be beneficial in themselves. Their primary value is the real work experience you gain from them, which helps you grow toward your chosen career or helps you determine whether you’re actually interested in pursuing that career after completing college. So don’t be quick to jump at the first offer.
Some organizations recruit interns for the purpose of getting cheap or free labor. Many times, students quickly accept the first offer or are eased into internships by relatives or family friends only to realize that, while the position adds a line in their resume, it ultimately adds no value to their career development.
According to experts, the trick to identifying the right summer jobs is asking the appropriate questions, including:
- Will this position give me a good understanding of potential careers in the company or industry?
- Will this position help me to apply what I’m learning in college to real-world problems and to learn how to work in a team?
- What professional outcomes will this position lead to?
Different industries require different questions. It is advisable to engage your college’s career services so they can help you come up with the right questions to ask potential employers. Moreover, asking smart questions demonstrates to hiring managers that you have done your research and are keen to learn more about the company and the industry.
Search in the right places
A common place to search is in well-known internship search sites. It is, however, important to note that most industries have dedicated job boards that post positions that may not appear anywhere else.
Additionally, you can consult your college’s career office, which probably has inside information on field-specific connections with a number of organizations. Your professors are also a good resource as they usually have tips on positions related to their disciplines.
Tailor your resume to fit the job
When deciding whether or not to interview you for an open position, the only thing hiring managers have to go with is your cover letter and resume. So before you embark on your search, make sure your cover letter and resume look their best. Considering that time is scarce, the quickest way of coming up with the best resume is using professional help.
Fortunately, as a college student, you can make an appointment with career counselors at your college’s career office.
Mandy Bular is a Seattle-based blogger, author and editor. In recent years, her work has been featured in various career and human resources websites where she writes on career-related topics including finding internships, switching jobs, etc.