Applying for Internships
If you aren’t sure what type of internship you need, visit Choosing an Internship first. Once you have identified the type of internship, follow these steps:
Based on your interests and career goals, compile a list of 10–15 companies with which you would like to intern and check their websites for openings. Use the Company Exploration Worksheet (Excel) to stay organized.
Most industries have job boards through their associations, or independently, that list available internships and jobs. Download the Career Web Links (PDF) to search these specific sites.
APU has a subscription to Internships.com, an international internship resource to give you access to thousands of internships worldwide! Check out our Survival Guide for the Job and Internship Search (PDF) to access this resource for FREE.
The No. 1 way to find openings is through your network. By informing your network what types of internships you are interested in, you are more likely you to get connected to someone who has an opening. A personal referral is always better than blindly applying online.
Use LinkedIn to build and keep track of your professional network and contacts, while also following companies of interest. LinkedIn is becoming one of the top websites to find internship and job opportunities.
Not everyone in your life will be on LinkedIn, so identifying those in your day-to-day network is also important. Use our Networking Matrix in Survival Guide for the Job and Internship Search (PDF) to identify your connections.
Complete Application Materials
Most applications will require a résumé and cover letter. As you move through the process, you might also be asked to provide a reference list. Download our Survival Guide for Résumés, Cover Letters, and References (PDF) to walk you through preparing these materials.
A few tips:
- Tailor, tailor, tailor! Read the internship description or talk to previous interns and customize your résumé and cover letter to what is requested.
- Network! If you have a connection at the company you are applying to, they can pass on your information to the hiring manager.
- Follow Social Media! Social media is a powerful communication tool that can connect you with a company and it’s employees to learn more about who they are.
- Inform Your References! Before you submit your reference list, check with your references for up-to-date contact information and send them a copy of your résumé and cover letter, as well as the job description so they are prepared if they get called.
You got the interview! Congratulations! For interview tips, check out our Survival Guide for Interviewing (PDF) and remember that you can make an appointment for a Mock Interview with a Career Consultant.
A few tips:
- Know Yourself. Take time to assess your personality, strengths, and areas for improvement so you know how you will best fit and what you are looking for in an internship environment.
- Know the Position. Read the description of the position and prepare examples that align with what they are looking for in a candidate.
- Know the Company. Have an understanding of the mission/vision and values of the company so you can tailor your responses.
- Use the S.T.A.R. Method. When you answer questions, remember: Situation, Task, Action, Result. You can find more information in the packet above.