While it’s still only January, you might be starting to think about plans for a summer internship or job. Formal internships can have applications deadlines in the early spring or limited spots available. Also, if you’re planning on relocating to a different city for an opportunity, you’ll need to secure temporary housing and make other plans.
Thinking about all the work and logistics can be overwhelming. Don’t get anxious, just use these tips to kickstart your summer employment search.
Use Clemson Resources
One of the many perks of being a Clemson student is all of the resources at your fingertips. When looking for a summer internship or job, make sure to tap into all the tools and opportunities that CU offers:
- Center for Career and Professional Development - The career center provides a wealth of information and help for your internship and job search, including individualized appointments with a career counselor, workshops and interview practice. They even have a Career Closet which has donated business casual attire, free for all CU Students!
- Professional Organizations- Using the TigerQuest database, you can find information on any type of professional organization. For example, if you’re interested in exploring marketing opportunities, the Marketing Association holds events where professionals give insight into their careers and network with students.
- Professors- Whether you’ve taken a class with them or not, professors are a fantastic resource. You can chat with them about general career directions, their past experiences or ask for referrals/recommendations. Make use of those office hours!
Do Individualized Research
Many of the best opportunities come from unexpected connections. If there’s an industry you’d like to explore or a dream job you have in mind, research it! Look for innovative companies that catch your eye. Even if they don’t list an internship program on their website, you can always email a representative to see if you can chat with them, or recommend yourself. Especially if you’re looking for an unpaid-internship, companies rarely turn down qualified—and free—summer help.
Overhaul Your LinkedIn
LinkedIn is your digital resume. While your actual resume is important as well (hint: the Career Center can help you with yours), LinkedIn is a powerful tool. Not only can you search for internships and jobs through their job listing platform, you can use your profile to apply to positions and connect with professionals.
Follow these simple steps to make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to par:
- Profile Picture- Upload a professional headshot, nothing silly or inappropriate—no duckface selfies! Your picture should be just your face, from the chest up. If you don’t have anything suitable, the portrait-mode on your smartphone will do just fine! Put on a professional shirt and stand against a plain background and ask a friend to snap a few pics.
- Experience- Add any of your professional experience. This isn’t the place to list your babysitting job in high school. Focus on any part-time positions, internships or volunteer experience.
- Endorsements- These are like Yelp Reviews on you as a professional. Brainstorm anyone that you’ve worked with (in any capacity) and ask them to write a short blurb about a skill or character trait.
- EDIT EDIT EDIT- Have another person proofread your profile. It’s easy to overlook small grammar mistakes or typos when you’ve been looking at the same text for a while.
Once you update your profile, get active on the platform! Connect with other college students or people in your network. Share relevant and professional articles. Comment and interact with your connections.
Get Comfortable Reaching Out and Networking
Networking doesn’t end with LinkedIn. While it can be intimidating to reach out to those in leadership roles, don’t let that stop you. Most professionals love helping or mentoring young adults. Reach out to people at organizations you’d like to work for, whether it be via LinkedIn or email. Offer to buy them a cup of coffee for half an hour of their time to pick their brain.
If you’re stuck or can’t find the right in, reach out to your family or existing network. Ask your parents to send emails to their friends and colleagues. You never know who might be able to connect you to the person who will offer you a summer internship or job.
Find your perfect summer internship or job
Once you’ve done your homework, it’s time to start applying. Ask questions about the decision timeline, so that you know when it’s appropriate to follow up. Make sure to apply to a few positions to diversify your options for summer employment. Some internships can be competitive, so don’t get disheartened if you get a no. Good Luck, Tigers!
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