Getting an internship during the summer or during the fall or spring semester requires diligence and planning. Application deadlines may be early for some internships, and the process might require some time to get everything out before the deadline. Organizations may require a formal application, resume, cover letter, transcripts, two or three letters of recommendation, as well as an essay on why you’re interested in interning for the company or some other related question. Not all internships have the same requirements. Here are some things to check for when getting ready to apply for internships.
Internship deadlines begin as early as November for some summer internships. Large internship programs in some of the bigger cities, as well as internships in industries such as finance, journalism, and government, tend to have earlier deadlines to ensure a strong pool of applicants. For the most part, most internship deadlines occur somewhere between January and April. The important thing is to start early to ensure that you do not miss the deadline.
Employers may require students to be at a certain level in their college education or may stipulate specific skills, majors, or courses completed to apply for the internship. Be sure you understand the qualifications for the internship, and if you are unsure try phoning or emailing the organization for clarification. If you feel you possess most of the qualifications the employer is looking for, go ahead and apply for the internship and you can discuss your skills further if contacted for an interview.
Employers may prefer that students applying for the internship are in their junior or senior year and that they have specific skills or courses completed. Although they indicate a preference, they do not indicate these as a requirement to apply. If you are interested in the internship and feel you possess the necessary skills, go ahead and apply. You can always discuss your skills further with the employer if contacted for an interview.
Documents Required to Apply
Check the internship listing very carefully to see what documents are needed to apply. If transcripts and reference letters are required, be sure to allow ample time to get these documents together. Be ready to send an error-free, grammatically correct resume and cover letter to the employer. Provide all references with a copy of your resume as well as any additional information on any special skills and accomplishments they might not know about.
How Does the Employer Want the Documents Sent
The employer may request that you attach your resume and cover letter to an email, send it in the mail, or include it in the body of your email. Prior to sending out your materials, be sure to follow the employers' directions exactly as stated in the listing.
Follow Up to Make Sure the Employer Has Received Your Documents
After sending out your application materials it is important to check to make sure the employer has received everything they need from you. By following up with the employer, you can also get an indication of when the employer plans on making a decision and what the next step in the process will be. This also lets the employer know that you are still very interested in the internship.