Posted tagged ‘summer internships’

Q. How can I improve my chances of getting a response when I send my resume to a company?

April 12, 2010

A.  How frustrating to send your resume for an internship and never receive any response—not even an acknowledgement that it was received? Unfortunately, you’re not alone. Too many Human Resources (HR) departments have been downsized recently, and the remaining employees are burdened with more work than they can manage. They often receive hundreds of resumes for one internship position, which means the numbers are too overwhelming to send rejection notices. Here’s how to stimulate a response:

  1. Send your resume to the head of the department that is looking for an intern, as well as to the HR person. It’s always easier for a resume to travel down the employment chain rather than up. If you’ve read about some company executive who has received an honor or achieved a specific success, you could send your resume and a cover letter noting that person’s accomplishment and your desire to have an internship in such a fine organization.
  2. Write a cover letter with your resume, stating that you will be calling that person to find out the next step in the internship process rather than waiting for a phone call. Being proactive shows respect for a busy person and demonstrates your enthusiasm for the internship. Then proceed to make your call a few days after you send your resume.
  3. Ensure that your resume contains key words that relate to the internship description. If the prospective company scans resumes for key words, you want to be sure that your resume has them all. Study the wording in the requirements and internship description listed in the posting and use as many of them as possible in your resume and cover letter.
  4. Follow-up. Make a phone call or send an email to the HR department and the department head, asking if your resume was received. Always restate your interest in the internship. You may want to ask a professor or career center to follow-up for you, too.
  5. Apply for multiple internships rather than only one, giving yourself options in case the internship you really want doesn’t materialize. If a company doesn’t bother to respond at all, it may not be the best environment for you to do an internship.

P.S.  If you’ve had success getting a response regarding your resume, please share your secrets. Thanks!

Q. Can alumni from my school help me get an internship?

March 30, 2010

A. Absolutely! Alumni can certainly be most helpful to you. They are an excellent source of networking for your future. Here’s how to capitalize on those relationships: 

  1. Research internships on internships.com to find ones that interest you. Go on those company websites and research the information, especially biographical material on officers, management team, or board of directors, to see if they are graduates of your school. You can also check your school alumni database to see if anyone works at the organization.
  2. Google any likely prospects to find out more about them. There may be press releases or business reports that will give you information about their education. Look around your campus to check out the names of buildings or locate plaques that list alumni donors or companies that would be possible internship sites.
  3. Talk to the counselors at your campus career center. They may be able to help you find the right contact at the internship of your choice. Career centers often host career fairs or lectures that involve alumni and their companies. Most alumni give precedence to undergraduates of their alma maters.
  4. Visit your alumni relations office on campus and pick up as many alumni publications as possible. Most alumni relations departments publish quarterly news magazines with listings of the latest career achievements of graduates. Review the listings to see if any graduates work for the companies you’ve identified as your target internship sites.
  5. Volunteer to work at an alumni event. Most universities hold numerous alumni events, such as Homecoming Weekend or reunions for different schools in the university. Undergraduates are always needed to lead tours or register alumni, which will give you access to their company affiliations. You’ll have the chance to meet alumni in person and follow up with your application for an internship.
  6. Apply for an internship in the alumni relations department, which will allow you to find out more about where alumni work. When you’re ready for a second internship, you’ll know which alum could help you get that internship. If you belong to any campus organizations, find out if any previous members are now alumni who work at companies of interest. Then network!
  7. Find out where the alumni from your department work. You may want to ask your professors to make the initial contact for you. Also, your professors may be connected to one of the companies that has a listing on internships.com through their consulting or other activities. Your professors can be a great help in getting you the internships that you want.

Q. Is this a good time to look for healthcare internships?

March 24, 2010

A. Perfect timing! The House of Representatives just passed the historic Health Care Reform Bill on Sunday, March 21, 2010. And unlike many industries, healthcare expanded its payrolls even during the recession, so yes, it’s a good time to look for an internship. Some of the growing career markets are x-ray technician, lab technician, physical therapist, registered nurse, occupational therapist, optometrist, and dental hygienist. Check out the following internships.com offerings:

  • Awakening Health Institute: Intensive exercise and wellness program in San Diego, CA, for individuals with various neurological disorders and spinal cord injuries. Specializing in personal training and exercise as well as supportive services. Holistic approach. Six-month, unpaid internships with potential.
  • Audiology & Health Services Consultants, Inc.: All majors encouraged to apply, especially thinkers with creative ideas. Looking for a candidate with strong written and oral communications and excellent phone and organizational skills with ability in Excel and Microsoft Word. Part-time and paid in Chicago, IL.
  • Frontier Nursing Service, Inc.: Must have valid driver’s license and own vehicle for personal use. Students interested in rural healthcare should check out the website. Full time and unpaid in Lexington, KY, with college credit available.
  • Adventist Health System: Sponsors internship programs designed for finance and non-finance majors who have taken business courses, and are campus leaders. Must have GPA 3.0 or better. Requirements vary depending on internship. Paid internships located in Orlando, FL.
  • Little Brothers – Friends of the Elderly: Internships for students majoring in photography, marketing/public relations, art therapy, psychology, sociology, nursing, pre-med, or gerontology. Unpaid in Chicago, IL.

P.S. Watch this blog for more healthcare internship listings!

To search for healthcare internships, click here.

How to find a summer internship: three MUSTs

February 14, 2010

Three must BEs for securing a summer internship:

  1. Be humble
  2. Be confident
  3. Be thankful

Be humble.  This economy has many employers concentrating on keeping business alive–not always the best time to develop new internship programs. But companies are still doing it—offering their time and experience to help prepare the future workforce.  In brighter times, internships were typically considered a form of corporate community service—taking the time to prepare America’s young adults for a multitude of careers. Then, a hiring manager might have expected an interviewing intern to ask the question, “What will this internship do for me?”  But these are different times and being humble will serve you well.  By Humble, I mean your focus should be on ‘what you can do for them, NOT what they can do for you.’

Be confident. Being confident means believing you are worth a company’s time. Confidence is different than being self-absorbed (a trait common among insecure people). It’s a quiet glow of strength and self-awareness that comes from owning the courage to seek out and acquire the professional skills, industry exposure, and coveted connections that make internships so valuable in the first place.

Be thankful.  Some students get internships through their parents, friends, or relatives. Others find them through their school career centers.  Regardless of how you get an internship, gratitude is essential. The number of interns that take the time to write thank yous after an interview hovers at about 5%. This low percentage means the thank you note is a huge opportunity to stand out. Everyone appreciates a person who truly appreciates an opportunity extended to them. Thank you should be the first thing you say when you BEGIN an interview and it should be the first thing you say when you end an interview. You cannot express your gratitude enough when it comes to letting employers know how appreciative you are to be considered for an internship. Let the manager know you are worth it and that you appreciate their time.  

Got feedback? Bring it here – I’d love to hear it.


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