Internships, whether you have them while in high school or college, are great tools for gaining work skills while also gauging your interest in possible careers. There are more internship opportunities in the business world than ever, and technology makes them easy to find and apply for. Still, not every internship will be the right fit for you. Be sure you know which field you want to experience and what your goals for the internship are before you send in any applications. Here are some other guidelines for landing a valuable internship.

Ask First

Although online resources are plentiful, your first choice should be to ask people in your life if they know of any internship or job training options. Friends, family members and teachers are much more likely to understand which opportunities would be the best match for you. Plus, they may have heard that a friend was looking for an intern so they can put the two of you together.

Check Online

There are dozens of online sites where you can search for available internships, entry-level jobs or temporary positions. Most people in the workforce start with LinkedIn, but there are plenty of other options that are more suited to students who are just starting out. Searches can be filtered by geographic location, which is perfect if you want to add travel to your internship experience. Steer clear of giant sites that don’t offer direct communication with the companies you are interested in working for.

Fine-Tune Application

If you’ve narrowed down your list of internship options and want to start applying, be sure you have all your materials ready. Your resume should be grammar error-free and updated with your most recent education and experience. When you fill out the internship application, be thorough and don’t miss any of the fields. It can be beneficial to get your application in well before the deadline, but if the directions say there’s a specific day for submission, don’t break the rule. Before hitting “send” double check that you’ve included all the required application elements.

Practice Interviewing

When you get an invitation for an interview, you need to be prepared. Have a professional outfit ready to go. Practice answering interview questions with a parent or teacher. Better yet, see if you can get someone in the internship field to do a mock interview with you. You can video tape it for review afterward. There are many online resources for potential interview questions and suggestions for quality responses.

Finding and landing the internship of your dreams can be a challenging and rewarding process. These guidelines should help you along the path, from the search phase to the interview. After that, it is up to you to get the most you can out of your internship experience.

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4 Tips for Finding a Valuable Internship

### March 16, 2017