Hooray! You just graduated college and are looking to land an internship in social media or advertising. You may feel a bit overwhelmed or have no clue where to begin your search. Well, we want to help you get ahead of the game, so here are our top 11 tips to help jump-start your career.
11. Make a list. Sit down and figure out what it is you want to do—what you want to learn, what interests you, and what type of work you want to be doing. Do you want to a full-time or part-time, paid or unpaid internship? Once you have that nailed down, then you can begin your search.
10. Research. Use key Google search terms to pull up the most appropriate internship opportunities that match your skill set and key must-haves.
9. Tap into social media platforms to network and find an internship.
•Use Twitter to build a network of social media and advertising agencies, and start following them. Send them a direct message (if they are following you back), or send them a tweet in 140 characters or less, to let them know you’re interested and/or have applied for the position.
•Join LinkedIn, build a professional profile, and begin searching for recruiters and human resources professionals at the agencies that you’re interested in. Send them a message asking if they are seeking an intern (if there isn’t a job posted already), and say you’re interested in speaking with them about pursuing an opportunity with them.
8. Shape up your cover letter and resume. Not sure how to craft one?
•Your resume should be targeted at the specific internship that you’re applying to. Be clear, concise, honest, and professional. Take the time to proofread your resume and cover, and have someone else give it a fresh eye before submitting it.
7. Create an online portfolio. Most social media and advertising agencies are interested in reviewing your work. When you interview for a position within a creative field, they are going to ask you if you have any writing or creative samples. And you always want to say YES! Use Wix.com to create a free online portfolio and showcase your work.
6. Network, network, network. Do a Google search for industry-related events (PRSA, Social Media Club, Business Marketing Association) in your area and pick 1–2 to attend. Have business cards and resumes on-hand, so when a potential employer asks for your contact info during or after your conversation, you’re prepared to give them a hard copy.
5. Don’t give up. Even if you start to feel discouraged because your dream agency doesn’t have an internship available, still reach out to a recruiter to connect. Tell them you’re interested in their internship program and would like to set up a preliminary interview to discuss your background. So when something opens up, you’re top-of-mind for the position.
4. If you snag an interview, prepare for it. Do some research. Find out everything there is to know about the company: what clients they work with, what they’ve done in the past, how they are positioning themselves for the future. Create a list of potential questions and answers, and rehearse your responses with a friend.
3. Dress to impress and exude confidence. You only have one opportunity to make a first impression, so make the best one. The first judgment a prospective employer will make is based on how you initially present yourself.
2. Be on time. There is nothing worse than an interviewee walking into an interview late. It shows lack of motivation and accountability, and will probably eliminate you quickly from being considered for the internship. Make sure you arrive 10-15 minutes early.
1. Follow up. Following the interview, follow up with a nice handwritten note. Use this opportunity to thank them for their time and to express your interest in the position. It will not only show them you’re on the ball, but that you would bring significant value to the position for which you’re interviewing.
Tell us how you’ll land your next internship in the comments below!