If you are in college today, you are probably worried about the job market. The pandemic has managed to affect every industry and unemployment numbers might not look good.
However, don't despair, an internship could serve as your springboard to the perfect job. Internships give students the opportunity to explore career interests, gain work experience and get their foot in the door. Check out our tips below on how to find an internship using LinkedIn.
1. Create your profile
First, to use LinkedIn to find internships, you have to start with creating a profile. Your profile should include all of your relevant education, work experience and skills. You should make it as professional as possible and include a professional headshot.
Second, you must ensure you list all your experience and relevant skills that correlate with the positions you are targeting. Your experience can come from summer or part-time jobs or volunteering activities.
Finally, you will want to include professional memberships and certifications (for e.g., Google Career Certificates or Microsoft Training and Certifications), if any, in your LinkedIn profile. I know what you are thinking: "Aren't professional memberships expensive?" Well, not always. Most professional organizations offer a student discount. Plus, your membership could give you access to exclusive career resources.
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2. Grow Your Network
Networking on LinkedIn is one way to find your dream internship. After you've created your profile, you will be able to start connecting with other professionals. One way to begin building your network quickly is to import your contacts. Giving LinkedIn access in your contact list will allow them to recommend connections. To establish connection, you will have to send a request to that person asking them to add you to their network.
As you build your network, pay attention to people who work in the industry you are targeting. If you don't know anyone in a specific field or industry, let your friends know that you are in the market for an internship. You never know, one of your friends might know a guy who knows a guy.
Another way to build your network on LinkedIn, is to find and join professional groups. It is easy to find groups by using the group feature on LinkedIn. As a member of these groups you could have access to people in the know who can point you to internship and job opportunities.
4. Search for Internships
By far, the best way to find an internship is to actually search for them. By going to the job section and typing "internships" in the search bar you will be able to get a list of every opportunity on LinkedIn. The results page will list every company on LinkedIn platform looking for interns.
A better way to find an internship match is do a more targeted search. LinkedIn allows you to search by job title, skill and company. Additionally, you can target internships by zip code, city and state. After you find a few positions you like, LinkedIn allows you to use the easy application button. From here, you will be able to send your resume and cover letter to the company directly.
Once you find a few internship opportunities, check to see if any of your connections works there. If so, send them a note and let them know of your plans to apply. Ask if they have any recommendations. You never know, they might be able to put in a good word for you or give you some tips to be more competitive.
5. Get an informational interview
An informational interview is not an interview where you are seeking an internship; however, it could lead to one.
The main purpose of an information interview is to learn about a role or a company. It can provide great insight into a role you are seeking following graduation or help you learn more about a company's culture.
Once you have built your connections, send three to five of your best contacts a message through LinkedIn. Your message should be clear and polite. It might seem intimidating to ask for an interview, but most people want to help, and are flattered when asked to talk about what they do.
If you land an interview, don't be shy about asking the person about any current or future internship opportunities at their company. The person you're interviewing might be able to help or, at the very least, connect you to someone who can. And, you never know, it could lead to an internship.
In conclusion, the best way to find an internship on LinkedIn is to use your connections. Get your accomplishments and skills out there, and begin networking your way to success. If you are interested in more articles revolving around college life, career and budgeting, sign up for our weekly newsletter.