did you know that approximately 31% of people begin internships after graduating college? Whether you’ve had experience with internships before, during, or after college, they can benefit you in countless ways and even transition into full-time careers. Just know that it’s not too late to start looking for an internship that would help you on your career path.
Types of internships
You’re probably familiar with the term “internship,” but there are several variations of the theme of gaining professional experience outside the classroom.
Internship: An internship typically takes place over the course of a few months. Interns work on various projects and with multiple team members in an organization. These are either paid or unpaid.
Internship: The duration of an externship is very short – they can be one day long, or up to a few weeks long. They allow students to shadow or observe professionals in their field to supplement their current coursework. Externships don’t offer pay because they are typically part of the student’s curriculum. Many students going into the medical field have had externship experience.
Apprenticeship: Apprenticeships are long-term opportunities (1-3 years) for people going into a specific trade (electricians, carpenters, welders and similar professionals normally start out as apprentices). Most of the time, apprentices work with a mentor who train them in specific skills. They also require training in a classroom to coincide with their fieldwork. Apprentices do receive pay and receive a job offer after they complete their apprenticeship.
Volunteering: The downside to volunteering is that you don’t get paid, but the upside is you can get your hands dirty and network in the field. Organizations, typically nonprofits, welcome volunteers with open arms – you can be a helpful resource and learn the ropes so that when an opportunity presents itself, you can apply for a position and the team will already know what you’re like to work with.
All these opportunities will help you advance in your field and develop your skills.
Getting a Post-Graduation Internship
You need to be offered an internship before you can experience all its benefits. Luckily, college students have access to plenty of tools and resources that can make it easy for you to find internships to launch your professional career. For those who didn’t go to college, or have been in the workforce for a while and are looking to change careers, adult internships are still a great option.
Use your school’s resources
Take advantage of your institution’s career resource center. Generally, they offer mock interviews, resume and cover letter revisions, and a whole array of tips and tricks. Also be on the look out for career fairs hosted by your school to get you some face time with recruiters. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your school once you earn your degree – schools often offer assistance even after you graduate.
1. Finalize your resume and cover letter
Hiring managers want to see that you have the required skills, or even just the drive to work hard and adapt to new environments, before offering you an interview. Make sure your resume is updated, concise, and specific to the position you’re applying for.
2. Set up your LinkedIn
The first step of any internship application used to be to submit your resume and cover letter. While these are still important to have ready and updated, companies have been using AI tools to seek out potential candidates on LinkedIn. Making sure that your title, work experience, and braces are updated regularly can be picked up by recruiters.
3. Where to apply
Many internship opportunities are posted on a multitude of platforms. LinkedIn is one of the most common places that people look to for internship opportunities. Recruiters can even reach out to you if they think you’d be a good fit for their company. Having a LinkedIn account is crucial to your professional development these days – you can build relationships through networking and share your professional development with your network.
Outside of LinkedIn, sites like Indeed.com, Internships.com, Handshake, as well as you state and local employment agencies, can help you find great internship opportunities.
4. Helpful tools
Check out these videos for more tips on prepping for your internship application process:
Internship Interview Questions and Answers – 20 Examples to Help You Prepare for Your Interview
Internship Phone Interview – How to Prepare for this Important Internship Interview Step
How To Prepare for an Internship Interview – Show Up with Confidence!
How to Format Your Resume for an Internship (10 Quick Tips + A Checklist)
Writing a Cover Letter for an Internship
How do you benefit?
Internships have tons of benefits to help you reach your professional goals and enter the field you’ve worked so hard to learn about in college. Some of these benefits include†
- Getting your foot in the door to your desired industry
- Helping you learn what you don’t because to do
- Offering networking opportunities with colleagues and other interns
- Helping you get a letter of recommendation (or two!)
- Gaining work experience for your resume
- Gaining skills in your field
- Transitioning from an internship into a full-time job!
57.5% of post-graduates who receive a job offer after graduation have internship experience.
70% of employers offer their interns full-time jobs. Bear in mind that you aren’t guaranteed an offer when your internship comes to an end, but you can market yourself in a way that showcases your skills and passion for the position. Communicating in a timely manner, fitting in with the company culture, and putting forth your best effort is a great place to start.
You should also ask your supervisor who you can speak to about the next steps you need to take to apply for a full-time position. And don’t be discouraged if there aren’t any open positions at the moment – if you left a positive impact on the company and built connections, they might reach out to you down the line or point you towards other opportunities. So don’t burn any bridges!
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.