Shoot for the Stars: How to Land Your Dream Internship

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If you're in the middle of applying for internships, you might start to feel discouraged with every rejection that you'll never land your dream internship and someday your dream job. It doesn't have to be that way. Almost 75 percent of paid interns and 44 percent of unpaid interns in a corporate setting got a job offer after their internship.

You can and will land that dream internship and dream job, as long as you follow these tips. 

1. Land Your Dream Internship with a LinkedIn Profile 

Don't underestimate the power of Linkedin. This website is a crucial tool if you're seeking an internship or employment. Linkedin has become the industry standard to find out who someone is, and is much more powerful than simply a resume and cover letter. 

If you aren't on Linkedin, it looks like you don't care about your career. All you need is a simple but polished profile with a professional headshot that is not a selfie. 

2. Volunteer 

Prove your skills and abilities by actually doing the work through volunteering. Look into volunteering at an organization that you are interested in interning at. Simply drop by their office with your resume, and say you'd like to volunteer and be sure to follow up after.  

3. Follow Up 

Speaking of following up, this is so crucial in landing an internship or job. You want to be persistent, but not annoying. You never know, the second you follow up, could be the moment the company needs someone like you. 

Following up also shows that you are proactive, professional and someone who won't let the ball drop. Be sure to send a thank you note after an interview, and touch base with hiring managers to see if the position has been filled. 

4. Ask Great Questions 

Always have a well researched and prepared question handy for the end of the interview. Having a great question will help you stand apart from the competition. Come up with three tactical, strategic, and smart questions before your interview. 

The goal being you want them to say, "Wow, that's a really great question" and then you can consider the job being practically yours! 

5. Continually Add Value 

If you can add value continuously, you will always be in demand. This means to be engaged, go that extra mile, be a team player and really help others. If there is an opportunity to volunteer, make sure you're the first to offer. Show up on time, have a can-do attitude, and stay positive. 

Try not to complain and look for solutions rather than problems, and you will always be in demand. 

6. Build Relationships With Potential Employers Now 

Applying and finding your internship doesn't have to be a blind application. You can easily make connections with people who work at the company's your applying for and build a relationship before the interview.

If you already have an idea in where you want to intern, there is no harm is stating a connection now. Often it's the connections and not the resume that gets you the job or in this case the internship. 

7. Find Out Your Edge 

There are thousands of students trying to get that same internship, so what sets you apart? What makes you different?

This could be your perspective, experience, background, approach or skillset. Know what you have that most others don't. Your presence and how you sell yourself is key. 

8. Don't Wait For An Internship Posting

Companies typically are looking for interns every semester and over the summer. You don't have to wait for a formal internship posting to reach out.

Have an idea of the companies you want to intern for, reach out and establish a connection now. That way when they're looking for an intern, you'll hopefully be first on their mind. 

9. Use Your Campus Career Center 

Your college has a career center that you really should be taking advantage of. It's free, and here you can find services like how to make a better resume or cover letter, and even practice with interviewing. Take advantage of this extra and most importantly free support. 

10. Apprentice 

Working as an apprentice is another great way to get an internship and someday a job. Here you will establish connections, connect with mentors and really learn the ins and outs of the business. 

11. Hone These Top Three Skills 

There are three skills that employers look for, so make sure you know this. First, be coachable. While you can teach most skills, you cannot teach a person to accept criticism and be coachable and adaptable.

You also want to show that you are hungry to learn and passionately enthusiastic about growing with the company. And most importantly, demonstrate relevance. Be up to date on what's going on in the industry, which shows you are initiative. 

12. Be Invaluable To One Person 

Lady Gaga said it best,  “There can be 100 people in a room and 99 of them don’t believe in you, but all it takes is one and it just changes your whole life.” This is true in business too. You just need one person in the company to vouch for you, and you're set. 

Find someone who believes in you, instead of being overwhelmed with trying to make everyone happy. Connect with someone who can be your mentor and become invaluable to them. 

13. Listen 

You'd be surprised how many people don't listen. If you listen you are showcasing skills in the ability to be part of a team, be adaptable, learn and have great communication skills. 

The ability to listen is one of the most powerful ways you can present yourself to a potential employer. Show that you can show up, empathize, paraphrase, and critically question, and this will give you a lasting impression. 

Get Your Internship Today

If you follow these simple tips, you should be landing your dream internship in now time. Be proactive, a good listener and make those connections. Once you land your internship, do your best to shine, and you can have a job offer in your future. 

For more information on jobs and internships, check out our website.