7 Common Mistakes Students Make When Looking for an Internship

Tips for Making Your Internship Search More Successful

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Anyone starting to look for internship or jobs should engage in some long range planning in order to be successful in the process. Once your resume and cover letter have been completed and you've had them looked over by several people that you trust, you will want to begin preparing for the interview, to keep yourself from being caught off guard.

  1. Creating an Ineffective Resume

    Having an effective resume and cover letter is the #1 step to getting an interview. Be sure to have your resume reviewed by several people you trust before you begin sending it out to employers. Make sure your resume and cover letter are targeted to the specific company and position you are applying to by using “key words” and highlighting your accomplishments based on the company’s qualifications and job description.

  1. Failure to plan

    One of the most common mistakes students and job seekers make is not having a plan to follow when searching for a job or internship. It’s easy to get distracted when you have not set specific goals, so in order to be successful, be sure you make a plan.

  2. Losing momentum

    Searching for​ an internship takes time and planning. You will need to establish goals to accomplish each day in order to keep the momentum going. After a few rejections or worse yet, no replies at all, it's easy to come to the conclusion that there are no internships currently available or that your qualifications don't match what employers are looking for in an intern. By keeping your internship search efforts organized, you will achieve success more quickly.

  3. Putting the majority of focus on just one internship or job

    Once you find an internship you are extremely interested in and the employer has contacted you to set up an interview, don’t stop your search. Many successful students often end up with several interviews occurring at the same time; and, with any luck, will get more than one offer in which they will be able to make a decision.

  1. Not taking time for yourself

    Anyone engaged in the process of finding an internship knows how daunting it can be. You may find yourself spending many hours each week for 2 or 3 months without any response from employers. Be sure to build in time to spend with family and friends to do the things you enjoy even when you feel there’s not much time to do so. You will need to keep yourself refreshed and nourished to maintain a high level of activity in the internship or job search.

  1. Not diversifying your efforts

    There are basically three strategies you can use when looking to find an internship – networking, looking for online internship listings, and prospecting with employers offering internships and jobs. Using all three strategies as part of your daily plan can make your search more successful.

  2. Not being prepared for an interview

    Students often begin their internship search quite diligently by creating a professional resume and cover letter and finding employers to reach out to. One big mistake that students make is not being prepared for an interview in the event that an employer calls and wants to do a phone or face-to-face interview within the next couple of days. The key to a successful interview is practice, practice, practice, and you may not have the time to adequately practice if an employer catches you off guard.

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