We have all heard: It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. Well…it’s both, and internships can help with the “what” or experience portion. Internships are important for a number of reasons, but two primary ones are to learn if this truly is the field you are interested in and to gain relevant experience, which can be highlighted on your resume. To apply for internships, you will likely need a resume and cover letter. For information on both of these, and to see the difference between a standard cover letter and one geared toward internships, visit the Resumes/CVs, References, & Cover Letters page.
Internship Search Websites
The job search process has many steps and can often take much longer than expected. To ensure the best outcome possible, below is a suggested timeline for a typical job search.
Suggested Job Search Timeline
A typical job search can take anywhere from six to nine months to complete. If you are expecting to graduate in the Spring, starting your search at the beginning of the Fall semester (or earlier) is recommended. If you graduate in December, starting your job search in the beginning or middle of the previous Spring semester is ideal. Based off of these facts, this timeline starts nine months out.
9-12 Months Before Graduation: Find out when all of the upcoming Career Expos, Career Networking Nights, and any other on-campus networking opportunities are happening for the next year before graduation. Save those dates and make sure to attend. This is a good place to gain contacts in your industry and learn of any expected job openings, maybe even landing an interview that week!
9 Months Before Graduation: Make sure you have completed an internship. Internships are great ways to gain experience and to make connections in the field for future job openings and to serve as references.
8-9 Months Before Graduation: Polish your resume. Be sure to have it reviewed by the and one or two other people such as: faculty and industry professionals.
8 Months Before Graduation: Look into various sources for job openings. On this page, below, there is a list of job search engines to start with. However, if you are staying in a local area, perhaps reviewing the newspaper, community website, or visiting the Chamber of Commerce can be a great option. Also, use your network! People you know may have job openings or know someone who does.
7-8 Months Before Graduation: Speaking of networking, don’t think you have one? Think again! You have family, friends, previous internship supervisors, coworkers, etc. who may know others to connect you too. Tell everyone you know that you are embarking on this job search and to send job openings your way.
6-7 Months Before Graduation: Polish your LinkedIn. Review our LinkedIn section for a checklist to start your LinkedIn, then with a CCB Career Advisor to review it and make suggestions for improving your networking reach.
6 Months Before Graduation: More networking! (Seriously…networking is HUGE to getting a job) Increase your network by attending a conference in your career field. When you meet new people anywhere anytime and have a meaningful conversation about your job search and careers, connect with them on LinkedIn and/or exchange business cards.Also, start compiling your reference list, asking references for permission to use them in your search and providing them each with your updated resume (makes it easier for them to talk about your accomplishments when they are reminded of them).
5-6 Months Before Graduation: Narrow down your options and begin selecting jobs you want to apply to. It is a good idea to start a job tracking system at this point (sample below). By inputting the jobs you are interested in, listing what documents are needed, and the deadline to apply, you can begin to prioritize the list ensuring you have time to apply to all of them. Create cover letters for each job you are applying too, tailoring the cover letter to that specific company and position. Have your cover letters reviewed by the Carson College Career Advisors. Start applying! Now that you have your resume, targeted cover letters, and references, it is time to use them. Make sure that you are tailoring your resume to each position as well, utilizing the keywords found in each job description. You should ensure you have good references that can speak to your qualifications for that job. Do not use the same references for each job you are applying to if there are better ones to speak on your behalf for specific jobs.
0-6 Months Before Graduation: Use all resources available to you to continue searching for jobs. LinkedIn is one great resource, but if you have Facebook or Twitter, you can use these to follow companies and learn about job openings before they may post it to their website! Make sure you are representing yourself professionally on all social media sites, however. Brush up on your interviewing skills before you start interviews. To practice, learn of common questions you may be asked, and gain feedback on your interviewing approach. If you get offered a job, review our tips and suggestions regarding salary and benefits and congratulations!
Job Search Websites
Here are a few websites to help you get started: