You probably realized soon after you arrived at college that by the time you are a senior you better have a resume that grabs recruiters’ attention. The easiest way to do that is to win an Olympic medal in alpine skiing. Or…get a good summer internship.
Even if you need to earn money over the summer, try to squeeze in an internship somehow so you can show prospective companies your interest in their field. If you layered your non-pay internship in with a waitressing job at Chiles, your ambition will be even more appreciated.
While you are considering internship possibilities, keep in mind the following:
1. Look for one in your primary area of interest, or as close to it as possible. If you can’t manage to work in the field you specifically want, work in one that requires similar skills (finance and lab research require analytical abilities; retail and industrial sales both rely heavily on marketing, etc)
2. I hate to say this but sometimes a big name company offering mediocre work has more resume impact than a less known company that offers big responsibility. This anomaly isn’t always the case, but recruiters often churn through resumes at Mach 1 speed. If you can catch their eye with an impressive name, half the battle’s won.
3. If possible, connect with an internship that can morph into a full-time job offer. Even if you don’t want to work there, get the job offer! Recruiter’s are often black and white about previous experience: impressed with job offers, suspicious if the recruit doesn’t receive one.
4. Internship contacts become future sources for your job search- especially if you rocked your job. So cultivate your relationship with colleagues throughout the summer.
Your biggest problem may be honing in on what you want to do. You have three summers before senior year; go ahead and experiment in the first few. By junior year summer, though, you should direct your energies toward the same type of job that you want to have after college. If all goes well, maybe you won’t have to search for a job senior year…