If you just realized there are only a few weeks until the semester starts and you still don’t have an internship lined up…don’t panic. Use this little bit of time left to pool your resources and focus your efforts to land yourself a great position.
Over the years you’ve met a lot of people and you’ve probably connected with them on one if not multiple social platforms. Now is the time you need to take advantage of those connections. Here are five ways to work your network for an internship, FAST! Some are more obvious than others and you may feel uncomfortable at times, but remember that you’re running out of time, you should take advantage of every opportunity to land a gig.
Photo courtesy of Chris Potter
If you don’t already have a profile, make one! And if you do, make sure that it’s updated. Since you’re in a crunch for time, skip reaching out to your connections individually – post status updates about the type of position you’re looking for and where you want to be geographically. Make sure to encourage close connections to like and share your status so you’ll get more opportunities for other people to see your post.
Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are three unlikely places to post on when job searching, but you don’t have time to waste and you know everyone is always checking one of these apps throughout the day. Pretty much the same as you did for LinkedIn, write a status (or screenshot a note for Instagram) and explain what type of internship you’re looking for. A lot of times people will tag other people who they think might be able to help you. Send them a direct message immediately; don’t wait for them!
Even if you haven’t graduated yet, often students can get accepted into alumni pages on Facebook or LinkedIn. If you’re one of the lucky ones, don’t hesitate to post a status. You can also search for alums in your industry through linkedin.com/alumni.
I’ve found that people are more willing to help someone from their alma mater than they would for a stranger. And who knows, you may even find a mentor this way!
Think of all the people you know. Just because you’re an art major, for example, doesn’t mean you only know people that work with art. This is why I strongly suggest that you reach out to every professor you’ve had since you started school. Chances are you weren’t the first non-major student they’ve had and they probably keep in contact with alumni.
Draft an email that you can send out to each professor. Explain that you’ve previously had class with them (include the class name, semester and year) and that you’re looking for an internship (include field) and wanted to know if they had any leads.
Make sure you let your close friends and family know that you’re looking for an internship. It sounds like an obvious plan, but a lot of times we forget to communicate with the people closest to us. Everyone always seems to have an uncle or a cousin who knows someone that has a friend with a sister that works in the field you’re interested in. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to find a position just because you forgot to mention this small piece of your life at Thanksgiving dinner.
I wish you the best in your search for an internship and I hope you find my networking tips helpful! For more tips on networking, check out ‘Tis the Season to Network: Use the Holidays to Your Advantage and make sure to visit the FindSpark job board.