Listen, I love internships as much as the next person, probably more, but there are other ways to get experience on your resume. The reason you take internships is to bulk up your resume and get experience. Guess what, you can do all that without an internship too.
By no means am I degrading internships, they are key to your future success. However, there are other ways to add experience to your resume if you don’t have the time to commit to a full internship.
- Volunteer: Passionate about a cause? Want to get involved? Volunteering can be more than working at a shelter, running a food drive, or tabling for a cause. If you’re passionate about fashion and want to get into that industry, volunteer at a local fashion show. Interned at a non-profit in the past? Let them know that you are available to work any local fundraising events. Volunteering shows that you are passionate about a cause or want to contribute to the greater good. It also gives you experience for a future job because your company is bound to have some kind of event you may have to work. Add volunteering to your resume to give it a well-rounded look.
- Take an online class or attend a seminar: Show how dedicated you are to your craft. Learn something new that will benefit you in the long run. In the marketing field? Learn new social media marketing skills. In technology? Take classes on front-end and back-end coding. The opportunities are endless. Add and diversify your skill set, expand your options. You never know what you can learn and what new skills you will discover.
- Contribute to a blog or website: No matter what your major or intended career path is, contributing your ideas and thoughts to a blog gets your voice out there. You don’t have to be the next best blogger on Forbes 30 Under 30 list, but you do have good ideas and experiences that you can share on other. Part with some of that wisdom and share it with others. FYI journalism majors, you need to do this in order to get anywhere in your field. Regardless, contributing gives you an online presence so you are searchable to employers. You’d rather them find an article you wrote on a personal experience than your personal Instagram account.
Yes, internships are an essential part of your resume, but there are other experiences you can add that will benefit you just the same. These type of experiences will show future employers that you are willing to work at all times and that you care about your future. These types of opportunities will set you up for success. I get it, we all don’t have time to do internships each semester and each break, but that doesn’t mean you can just sit around. Get proactive and show everyone how you’re ready to get out there and work hard for what you want.