It’s that time of year again. The dog days of summer—when you have to start thinking about how you are going to get a schedule without class on Fridays and—more importantly—how you are going to secure a Fall internship.
Fall internships can be amazing for your resume and personal development. Having that experience shows that you’re serious about pursuing your field. It also shows you have excellent time management skills. And it’s proof that you’re able to do real work.
Plus, because it’s during the school year, the competition is less stiff—which is great for people without previous experience.
That’s why we’re here to answer all your questions about how and when to start looking. Here at the WayUp Guide, we’ve come up with 5 easy steps to secure yourself an amazing Fall internship.
1. Prime Your Resume.
If you have an internship right now, be sure to add it to your resume and online profiles before applying.
If you didn’t have an internship over the summer, then you should have a compelling story about what you were doing. Think “volunteer vacation in Costa Rica” not “acid trip at Outside Lands.”
Your WayUp profile is a great place to show off these types of non-internship experiences. If you made a funny YouTube series with your friends, you can add that to show experience with media. If you did any coding or freelance work, you can show off how you use your free time. Even if you got a bunch of great Instagram pics while traveling, you can integrate that into your profile (and refer to it as a “travel blog”).
The less work experience you have, the more important it is to showcase the other parts of your life and personality that make you a great candidate.
And get your references lined up, too!
Start looking at what companies you’ll be applying to for a Fall internship, and whether or not they require a letter of rec. If they do, ask your employer now if they would write you one, or if you can put them down as a reference. If they’re unsure what to write, give them a template.
And if you don’t have an employer or manager to ask, try emailing a professor or TA instead. Be sure to include any great stories from class or funny memories you have to remind them of who you actually are.
Many companies will actually check your references. So, definitely be sure to ask your references in advance if you can put them down. You can also let them know what type of job you’re applying for, so they can be sure to emphasize certain skills.
3. Clean Up Your Social Media.
It’s easy to forget about what is appropriate to have on your Instagram and Twitter accounts during the summer. Be sure to delete or archive any inappropriate pictures or tweets before applying. You don’t want to get rejected from a Fall internship simply because you were holding a bottle of tequila on the ‘gram.
It’s best to keep your social accounts on private during the application period. However, if you’re applying for a marketing, writing, or social media-based position, then CLEAN IT UP. You’re actually being judged on it.
4. Have a Clear Idea of Your Availability.
Most students can take on about 15-20 hours of internship work a week with a normal course load. That’s the same commitment as a part-time job. Having held a part-time job during school in the past is actually a great way to demonstrate to employers that you could handle an internship. Balancing school and work can be tricky—and no employer wants somebody who takes on more than they can handle.
Be realistic about your workload and class schedule. You know (or can easily find out online) if that Shakespeare professor is gonna give you an essay every week or 20 hours of reading. Use ratemyprofessors or ask around to find out ahead of time.
The worst thing to do is to accept a job and then get overwhelmed and quit halfway through the semester. Factor in time for extracurriculars, midterms, friends, and finals, and let companies know ahead of time how long you’ll be gone for Thanksgiving and winter break.
5. Apply Early.
Although many companies continue accepting applications well into September, you should start applying ASAP. The internships that pay the best and look the best on your resume will close sooner than those that do not. Recruiters cannot always spare the time or resources to look at thousands of applications, so act fast.
Now if your resume and WayUp profile is up to date and you’re ready to apply, just search “Fall Internships” right here on WayUp and you’ll get opportunities tailored your skills, interests, and major. There are thousands of internships available on WayUp, so go find yours today!