By Ella Chochrek
During the fall semester, the following summer feels an awful long way away. Nonetheless, some internship applications may be due before the end of the calendar year. Gah!
Even if applications for your dream job haven’t opened yet, it never hurts to get a head start! There are things you can do in the fall to stay ahead of the curve, prepare yourself for summer internship season, and avoid undue stress further down the line.
Here are some things you can do during the fall to help make sure you’re in a position to get the kind of internship you want:
Revise Your Resume
With the fall, back-to-school rush, chances are that you haven’t updated your resume recently. Now’s the time! Review your resume, adding in relevant experience—be it academic, work, or volunteering—that you’ve gotten in the past few months. Also consider whether there’s anything listed that’s now become outdated and should be removed.
If you’ve written your resume or cover letter, it might be a good idea to run it through a grammar checker like the one from BibMe Plus. It’ll examine punctuation, word choice, subject-verb agreement, spelling, proper noun capitalization, and other factors that affect the quality of your writing.
Visit the Career Center
Does your college have a career center? If so, take advantage of this amazing resource! Make an appointment to meet with a counselor and go over your career goals. There may be jobs that fit in perfectly with your skill set that you haven’t even considered, or your school may have great alumni connections that you didn’t know about. In short, there are only benefits and no drawback to visiting your career center.
Research Companies You Find Interesting
Think you want to work at a certain company? Find out more about it by going through job postings! Check out internships.com, search on a browser, or visit a company’s own website to see what types of jobs are available. This way, you can get a sense of what tasks you might be asked to perform—and you can figure out whether your strengths align with what a company is looking for.
Go on Informational Interviews
An informational interview is the perfect opportunity to network with a professional and learn more about their career—and they can sometimes lead to job opportunities down the road. While the person you talk with may not be able to offer you a job themself, there’s a good chance they have other connections within their industry. Plus, you can ask questions you wouldn’t be able to ask in a job interview—like whether the person actually enjoys what they do.
Attend Employer Events
There’s a good chance your college has a career fair in the fall—and you should go. Career fairs are a great opportunity to meet potential employers and to learn about various fields you might be interested in. While you may not walk away from the fair with an internship lined up, you will walk away with more knowledge, and that’s valuable in and of itself. If there are networking events in the area—like information sessions with individual employers—check those out as well.
Start Applying (For Some)
Dependent upon what industry you’re interested in, internship opportunities for the summer may actually open up during the previous fall. In particular, finance and tech internships tend to open on the earlier side. And regardless of industry, if you’re looking to work for a large company, there’s a good chance that jobs will start opening up sometime between November and January.
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