When Should I Start Looking for an Internship and Where Should I Look?

When it comes time to find your first job after graduation, having real-world experience on your resume can make you a much more marketable candidate. Internships provide you with the opportunity to learn about your industry, gain practical work experience and build professional connections. So, when should you start looking for an internship and how can you uncover a great opportunity?

“Students that are heading down a career path need to make sure this is the right direction.  Reinforce that your going in the right direction with some solid hands on experience. Internships can be paid or unpaid. Don’t let that distract you from gaining valuable insight into how you will be spending your future years!” says Sharon Tsao, EVP, Contemporary Staffing Solutions.

When To Start Looking For An Internship

If you are looking for an internship for school credit, you’ll need to be sure of the application deadlines defined by your university. Most schools won’t award credit if you haven’t registered in advance. Also keep in mind that competitive internships with large corporations often have lengthy application processes, while internships at smaller organizations often have shorter timeframes.

For fall internships, start reaching out to employers during the spring semester. For spring internships, start looking in October. Competitive summer internships actually begin their application process in the fall, so you’ll have to plan far in advance if you’re looking to apply for a big-name opportunity.

Where Should You Look For Internships?

Your college career center is a great resource for internships, but keep in mind that those listed tend to be rather competitive. You’ll serve yourself well to do some research and legwork on your own to find an internship at a company you truly want to work for. You can research local companies and search job boards to get a feel for what’s available in your industry.

Remember that networking will be important throughout your professional career, so don’t be afraid to tap into your network to find out about internship opportunities. Relatives, friends, former part-time bosses and more can be a great resource when looking for internships.

Work With A Professional Recruiter

Finding and landing an internship on your own can be a time consuming and frustrating experience. There are other ways to find out about great internships and paid summer jobs in your field without spending your entire semester pulling your hair out.

Working with a professional recruiter that specializes in helping young people start their careers can be a great way to get connected with opportunities you may not be able to find on your own.  A great recruiter will also help you polish your resume, improve your interviewing skills and work with you on professional follow up. Even better, they will talk to the hiring manager about you ahead of time, pre-selling your strengths as a candidate and giving you an edge over your competition.

Contemporary Staffing Solutions specializes in helping graduates & students get their careers off the ground. We can connect you to interesting summer opportunities where you can learn and earn at the same time. Contact us to learn more about our commitment to your career success.