It’s already that time of year – internship season! Whether you are looking for a last minute internship or are planning ahead for next summer, internships are becoming more and more common among college students, no matter their major. Internships are opportunities to learn more about your field of work and make connections that can help you land your first job post-graduation.
Many students find internships through listings on websites like InternQueen.com or through friends and family with connections to companies they’re interested in working for. If you’re having trouble finding internships through website listings or are lacking in family connections, there are less conventional ways to land your dream internships that can work just as well.
One of our favorite ways to find internships is by using LinkedIn to connect with professionals who are already working at your dream companies. However, searching for the right people to reach out to and figuring out exactly what to say can be a tricky task. Without further ado, here’s Valley’s best advice for using LinkedIn to land an internship. We’ve tried it before, and it really does work!
Make a Profile on LinkedIn
If you don’t already have one, the first step is to make a profile on LinkedIn.com Think of this website as a virtual resume where employers can see all your qualifications that make you a great candidate for their company. Start with a professional headshot to use as your profile picture (that means no red cups or crop tops.) Next, add your work experience and describe in detail what your responsibilities were in every position. Even if you’ve never had an internship before, include any clubs you’re involved in or relevant course work you’ve taken. Even part-time jobs count, so don’t hold back!
Search for Penn State Alumni
Once your profile is completely filled out (and proofread for spelling and grammar errors) it’s time to start finding the right people to connect with. Using the advanced search tool, do a search for a company you’d like to intern for. Chances are, a very lengthy list will result. Refine these results by first searching Penn State University under the “School” tab. It’s not secret that Penn State alum love helping each other out, so if a Penn State grad happens to work at your dream company, don’t hesitate to message them on LinkedIn!
Connect with Previous or Current Interns
Another option to refine your results is by looking for Penn State students who have previously interned or are interning now at your dream company. Connect with those students and find out how they applied or what kind of work they did. If you’re lucky, they might be willing to share an email address where you can directly send your resume and cover letter.
Nailing The Message
It’s important to be concise when messaging an employee for an internship. Remember that they’re busy and don’t need to hear your entire life story. Try to limit yourself to 100 words that tell this person who you are, and why you are qualified for an internship with their company. Don’t be afraid to share your passion for their company! It is, after all, why you’re tracking them down on LinkedIn! End your message by asking if they can provide you with an email address or contact to send your resume and cover letter and then provide your personal email address as well. Thank them for their time and always be polite; manners can go a long way in the professional world!
Have you ever used LinkedIn to land an internship? Leave a comment and share your experience!