I was speaking to an acquaintance, a Baby Boomer Mother, whose son is a college junior, and her daughter is a senior about to graduate. I mentioned how important I thought it was that she helps them land an internship this summer. She shook her head in disagreement and stated she had no worries her kids would land a job right after college because they were attending well-known universities. I walked away shaking my head in disbelief, as her attitude on her kids' job search hopes is quite misplaced.


Many people have success finding jobs through online career sites, but 70% of all positions are found through networking./Getty


In today’s current job market, unemployment in this age bracket 11.1% , plus add in those tens of thousands unrecorded 2020 grads still job hunting and you’ve got one very difficult job market.

If you are a college student, you need the kind of work experience that an internship provides. They offer the chance to learn about the career choice, gain relevant work experience you can add to your resume, and allows you to make critical employer connections. For example, Sarah had two internships and both companies just extended her a job offer. Most of the college students I talk to right now are landing jobs because they did have an internship.

Indeed recently released a report that dives deeper into the state of the internship job market. Its key findings include:

  • The share of internship postings per million job postings on Indeed’s US website is down 39% from 2019.
  • The share of remote internships has taken off - now 7 times greater than March 2019.

Throughout 2019, an average of 5% of internship postings contained remote work terms like “work from home” and “telecommute.” Fast forward to March 2021, 20% of internship postings mentioned remote work. That is great news for college students as remote opportunities enable you to work from home or any location.

These steps can help get on your way to landing an internship for this summer.

Where do you find them?

Check with your College’s career placement office to determine if they post any internship listings. Since new ones get added often, review the listings frequently. Next go to the big job search engines including Glassdoor.com , Indeed.com , LinkedIn.com , and Idealist.org . In the job title search box enter “internship” or “intern”. Leave the location box empty for now. Hit search. See how many openings there are. Read a few to get the idea of what employers are offering. You can further filter your search to “remote” or restrict to a certain location. Review the options as many students do not have a solid career target locked in yet. It is helpful though if you can focus and define the job type you hope to get. For example, Communications Intern or Marketing Intern or HR Intern or “whatever your major is” INTERN.

Another great source of finding internships starts by asking your professors, advisor, and department chair. Many positions will be remote this summer, so not living in the region should not be an obstacle and these people have many contacts in the field. Most of the magnet, very large popular companies – Amazon, Microsoft, Goldman –have already filled their internships for the summer. Still, it never hurts to look at their Careers website page and see if they still have any new openings you can apply for.

Advertise Yourself with a LinkedIn Profile

Many of my career counseling New Grad clients are having success being found on LinkedIn. Be sure you create a complete LinkedIn profile (here is a link to a step-by-step guide

I wrote for Forbes). Add potential job titles you seek in the headline. Use these two keywords: INTERNSHIP, and also INTERN, in your headline to get the appropriate employer attention. You can add in info on the major classes you have taken relevant to the job you seek. Use a professional picture – smiling, warm, and engaging with a plain background. Avoid a common mistake college students make in using a wedding, party, or too sexy looking picture. Connect with as many people that you know. LinkedIn functions best when you have 300-500 connections. Join the LinkedIn group for your college or university and post that you are looking for an internship. For example, try this post in the alumni group saying:

Network

70% of all positions are found through networking. That number can be higher when it comes to internships. Create a list of your family’s personal friends, relatives, college friends, and what their parents do as well. Ask for internship leads — the more specific the better, but you can be broader saying “I’m looking for a Business Intern role”, or “I want an Internship in Healthcare”. Once an internship is identified, then you will need to sell yourself. Have your resume ready to send off and study up on how to handle the job interview. If your college offers any resume or interview classes, it’s useful to take them. Networking is about getting help from other people. Ask a connection to forward your resume to their company when said organization has an internship opening. Be sure to have your parents ask their networks via LinkedIn or Facebook as they likely know many more people and can uncover a few leads for you. Do not delay. You must respond immediately when you see or hear about an internship opening. And always send a thank note to anyone who helps you.

By Robin Ryan, Contributor

© 2020 Forbes Media LLC. All Rights Reserved

This Forbes article was legally licensed through AdvisorStream.

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Tami Romanchuk, CFP, CLU
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