Jamilah Hosan is a San José State University Fall 2016 Braven Fellow. She shares her tips on how to land an internship.
Whether paid or unpaid, internships are a great way to expand upon your skillsets as a student and future working professional (look out, world!)
Employers are looking for applicants like you to bring onto their team, but they won’t be able to find you if your resume is not on file.
So whether you are actively searching for a role or are sitting on the idea of an internship consider the following:
1. Update Your LinkedIn Profile
You don’t exist in the professional world if you are not on LinkedIn. Update your profile, even if that means sitting down for a few minutes each day. Unlike your resume, the space on your LinkedIn profile is limitless so share the articles you’ve written or past projects you have worked on in school, clubs or other jobs. This is your place to shine.
2. Get A Mentor
If you do not have a mentor yet, get one! It is always helpful to have the connection of a professional in your desired field. Fun fact: Many of the mentors you gain have had mentors in their lives, so they know exactly what you are going through.
3. Share Your Skills
Are you proficient in Excel? Do you know how to use a software that might be relevant to your ideal position? Share those skills on your resume. They give you an edge. And if you are willing to, top off your knowledge with a certification. Not only can you share your certifications on your resume, but you can also add it as a badge to your LinkedIn profile. Snazzy!
Volunteer work is great because it shows your compassion towards a community, goal, or cause. If you have any record of your tasks as a volunteer and the amount of hours worked, be sure to share.
Along with building your resume, building your network is key. Have a friend who recently landed an amazing role? Don’t burn bridges! Ask them about the process and if you can pick their brain or take a peek at their resume. Also, be sure to keep in touch with former colleagues or instructors. You never know who they might know. Fun Fact: My friend got an internship after her last day of the semester because she took the time to thank her instructor for all she has learned. Her instructor’s wife just so happened to be a manager at an independent news station and offered her a position on the spot.
6. Talk about Braven
Braven is an invaluable resource as a student. During my semester as a Fellow at Braven we worked on a project to help improve the daily usage of Yahoo mail. Who else gets to say that? Be excited and share your experience. Your spirit is contagious.
7. Share Your Quirks (optional)
When people are looking to bring on new talent, they want to bring on someone interesting! When I was an intern helping hire a new employee, we brought in a candidate who owned a cupcake truck on the side and held a Rubik’s cube award. Why? Because aside from his qualified experience, he seemed interesting and his quirks made us want to meet him and get to know him.
Now that you have some advice to help you in your internship search, be sure to apply them and share your experience. Good luck!