Looking for an internship can be tough. Your first line of defense should be your career center on campus. I strongly encourage you to take full advantage of your career services on campus! They are designed to make you successful. Think about it, they get paid to make sure you get paid so they should be your best friend on campus! Your second line of defense should be career fair. Here’s an infographic on How to Do Career Fair Like a Boss. Your third line of defense is LinkedIn. If you do it right, LinkedIn can be a rich resource. Tapping into your network can uncover opportunities. Here’s how to tap into those opportunities.
Look into your alumni network
The alumni network on LinkedIn is a powerful tool that can work to your benefit. Use the alumni page to find current students and alums who have interned or currently work at places you are targeting. DO NOT ask them to pull favors for you because they probably cannot. Instead, ask them about their experiences and how they were able to land that internship. Pick their brain! Ask them for advice and insight to inform your own internship search.
Learn how to use LinkedIn to build meaningful relationships
Follow target companies
Most companies have a LinkedIn company page. If you haven’t already, follow that page and start reading up on what’s going on inside that company. You want to make sure you’re in the know of any significant developments. In addition, you can find a list of current employees of that company and find related companies in that industry as well. Try to find personnel who work in recruitment and reach out to them. Again, don’t ask them for a job. The answer is probably no and if you’re reaching out to them then they already know what you want. You need to be more strategic than that. Ask them for advice and insight when it comes to their internship process and specifically what they are looking for in a strong candidate. Approaching a recruiter in this manner and being intentional in your communication will help you stand out in a positive way.
Learn how to use LinkedIn to conduct industry research
Look up independent recruiters
There are staffing agencies that are paid to match future interns and full-time employees to employers. Reach out to those staffing agencies and see if they have any resources to help you advance your career. Be careful though. These services might come at a cost. Most staffing agencies charge the employer for its services, not the job seekers but stay vigilant.
Learn how to use LinkedIn to plan your career
Remember you can use all these resources at the same time. You can go to your career adviser while doing LinkedIn research. In fact, your advisers can help amplify your search. Also keep in mind that before you reach out anyone on LinkedIn, you want to make sure your LinkedIn is beefed up and your traditional resume is up to snuff. Read here to learn how to use LinkedIn to revamp your resume.