Job and Internship Search “How to” Guide

Job and internship searches can feel chaotic, time-consuming, and worrisome. These 4 steps will give you a structure to keep you focused and organized. Make sure you’re revisiting each step as you learn more about the industry you are hoping to work in, and make sure to schedule an appointment with an advisor who has a specialty in your desired area to build a personal strategy to go through these following steps. 

Step 1: Documents

Most job and internship applications will ask you for a resume, cover letter, and sometimes a list of references. These documents should be customized to the role you are applying to. Ask yourself what the employer is looking for, and be sure that the experiences that best demonstrate those skills and qualities are represented on your resume and in your cover letter. Consider what you want the reader of these documents to know about you, and make sure your documents do just that. 

Use the resume and cover letter instructions and examples in the undergraduate career guide or graduate student career guide to get started. 

Step 2: Research 

The more you know and understand about the industry you’re pursuing, the more successful your search will be. You’ll want to know the ins and outs of the industry, how things work, key organizations, stakeholders and competitors, and current trends. This kind of understanding will give you an edge as you customize your documents and build your professional network. Start your research by using the internet to learn more about jobs and industries using sites like The Occupational Outlook Handbook and by having Career Conversations.

Step 3: Network

Networking is not about asking for a job; it’s about connecting with others who share your professional interests. Your network allows you to research and get insider tips and advice. There’s a number of ways to start connecting to professionals. Here are a few places to start:

Step 4: Search

Be sure to use steps 1 through 3 for this one. The more you revisit those first steps, the more focus you’ll have as you search for opportunities to apply to. In addition to broad job search sites like Handshake, find industry specific resources and job search boards on our career community pages

By Sheryl Rosenberg
Sheryl Rosenberg Associate Director