For many college students, a summer internship is clutch in setting the stage for their full-time employment. They are able to test-drive a career path all while networking with peers and professionals in their field. Sometimes, upon successful completion of their internship, they even receive a full-time offer!
Many juniors visiting my office this summer have asked, “Did I kill my chances for securing a full-time job next year since I did not land an internship?” While not having an internship going into your senior year can put you at a disadvantage, there are many things you can be doing now to position yourself for success as you enter fall recruiting season.
Make it your summer goal to speak to at least 5 people who can help you in your job search and overall career development. These can be professionals you have met through career fairs and/or networking events, alums, family, friends, etc. If it is the first time you reaching out, ask them if they are open to an informational interview. Your college’s alumni network and LinkedIn are great places to start.
As you gear up for your full-time search, make sure you have a strong understanding of different industries and career paths. By visiting sites such as Vault, WetFeet, and the Wall Street Journal you will gain a better understanding of what you want to do and what companies you would want to work for.
You need to hit the ground running once fall recruiting season begins.
- Take a 2nd look at your resume. Does it accurately showcase who you are and what value you can add to a company? Make sure your resume contains strong action verbs, accomplishments, and tangible results.
- Practice your interviewing skills. Can you answer both traditional and behavioral interview questions? Are you aware that you say the word “um” at least 10 times while explaining yourself? Mock interviews are a great tool to prepare you for the real deal. Visit your college career center to set up a mock interview today, or utilize online interviewing programs such as Interview Stream as a way to practice on your own.
Not having a summer internship is not an excuse to do nothing this summer. Scheduling time to address these three items will help position you for success in your full-time search. And remember, your college career center is usually open over the summer. Stop by and ask them to help you maximize your summer “off” so that you can be “on” in your full-time job search!
Heather currently serves as the Associate Director of Student Services for the Undergraduate Career Services Office in the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. In her role, Heather guides students throughout their career development, lectures on career-related topics and personal branding, presents career workshops for students, supervises a team of career coaches, and develops/manages the social media efforts for her office. Before making the switch to Student Affairs, Heather worked in Marketing, Sales, and Promotion within the Music & Entertainment industry. Originally from New Jersey, Heather attended Indiana University for her undergraduate degree and The Ohio State University for her graduate studies. You can connect with Heather on Twitter and LinkedIn.