Compare prices and save on cheap textbooks at

How to Get an Internship: Advice for Current College Students

how to get an internship

Internships are equally as important as academics in college. 

58 percent of 2018 grads found full-time employment within six months after graduation. 

You want to be in the group that gets a job and taking an internship is a great way to show future employers that you can be reliable and work hard in a professional setting.

It’s crucial that students pursue at least one internship before graduating. This article will teach you how to get an internship. 

1. Craft A Stellar Resume

Sure, you’re just an undergraduate and you probably have little to no experience under your belt. But this doesn’t mean you can’t create a stunning resume.

Your resume should be professionally designed and easy to read.

Label it correctly by putting the most relevant information at the top. In the case of a student, this would be your education.

List where you go to school, your major, and when you’ll be graduating. If you have an impressive GPA, it’s also a good idea to include that in the education section. If your GPA isn’t up to par, it’s best to leave it off and wait to see if the internship coordinator asks you about it.

Do more than just typing a list on Microsoft Word. Remember that you want your resume to stand out in a stack of dozens, even hundreds of others. 

Design your resume using a site like Canva. Here you can easily pick a template and make your resume look artistic for free. 

Keep in mind the field you’re applying for when deciding how to design your resume. Creative jobs will look fondly on interesting layouts and bold colors, while traditional office jobs might prefer more basic styles. 

Take your resume to your university career center so they can proofread it and make sure you’re on the right track. 

2. Join More Student Organizations

During the four years that you’re at university, what you do in and out of the classroom matters. 

Employers are going to look for involvement outside of just school. 

Join student organizations that you’re interested in. This will help you pad your resume for internships and it will help you with networking.

There is likely an organization devoted to exactly what you want to do. If you want to be a journalist, join the student newspaper. If you want to work in politics, join the student government. 

You can’t rely on textbooks to teach you everything in college. It is very important to build relationships with other students who are looking for work in the same field as you.

You’ll be able to lift each other up by offering connections later on in your career. 

Student organizations also have advisors that are typically experienced in the field who can offer you advice or be a reference to you. 

3. Write A Cover Letter

Here’s a little hint for you: if an application says a cover letter is optional, it’s not.

Choosing not to write a cover letter makes you look lazy and unhirable. Always tailor your cover letter to the position you’re applying for.

Don’t just send one generic cover letter to every company. You need to explain why you want to work for that particular business. 

Match your language to the language in the job posting. For instance, if the posting sounds upbeat and says they’re looking for an outgoing personality, write your cover letter matching that tone.

Mention skills in your cover letter that the job posting is looking for. Make your cover letter sound like you are exactly what the company is looking for. 

Proofread your letter to ensure there are no typos. 

4. Bond With Your Professors

It can be intimidating to try to get to know your professors. 

It’s much easier to let them be at the front of the room giving a lecture and then rush out after class. 

However, if you want an internship that’s relevant to your field, your professors are the best place to start. Many of them were experts in their field before starting to teach and they will have valuable connections for you.

Get to know your professors by visiting them during office hours and lingering after class. Don’t become a nuisance, just get to know them as people.

Mention that you’re looking for an internship to them once you know them a little better. Ask them if they know anyone in the field who might need help on a project. 

Be open-minded about whatever work they offer, you never know what it could turn into. 

Your professors are the people who will serve as references and the people who will write you letters of recommendation. Don’t underestimate their importance in your life. 

5. Get Good Grades

In college you’re not earning money for your hard work, you’re earning grades.

It’s important you take your education seriously in order to land an internship. When you get good grades, you can get scholarship money to pay for your classes. When you don’t have to pay for your classes, you can afford to work for free at an internship. 

Be sure to show up on time to class and don’t skip days. Your professors notice who regularly misses class. 

Take notes in class and be sure to get a copy of every textbook. Don’t think you can just wing it by listening to lectures. You must read in order to grow. 

Now You Know How to Get An Internship

You’ve not learned how to get an internship so you can go spread your professional wings.

Remember the most competitive internships will require a strong resume, good grades, and good letters of recommendation.

Check out our article on what you need to bring to class in order to succeed

About the Author

Christopher Manns

I was born in the UK, grew up in Canada and have lived in the USA since the 90s. I love my family, water sports, ice hockey, skiing and soccer. When I'm not helping people save money on textbooks, I'm travelling with my wonderful family and playing sports.