Top 5 ways to find a summer internship if you have no experience and no connections
Sick of applying on job boards and not getting a response? Need a summer internship (paid or otherwise) to boost your resume and earn some extra cash to pay for your student loans? Check out these alternative ways to finding a job!
1. Connect with people on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is the greatest 21st century tool to find a job. Not only can you stay in contact with colleagues but you can also find companies looking to hire as well. The real trick however, is finding people who can lead you to a possible place at their company. Start by searching for a company that you would like to work for, then filter the search so you see the people that work for that company (this works if you search for an industry in general too!). To make this even more specific, you can filter your results by connection type (2nd, 3rd, etc.) or by your University. When you see someone you’re interested in connecting with, add them and send a short note to ask them if they have time to chat about opportunities. Here is an example of my short note:
My name is Melissa and I’m a student at Western University. I was looking for summer jobs at SuperAwesomeTech Co. and I noticed that several Western Alumni worked there. I was wondering if you had time to chat about opportunities or tips you may have for finding internships. Thank you!
Lots of alumni are willing to chat about what they do and opportunities at their company. And even if you don’t get a lead on an internship, a virtual or coffee chat is great because you can learn more about the industry/company you’re interested in.
2. Cold email companies
There’s a lot of stigma surrounding cold emailing or cold calling where students don’t believe they’ll get a response from the company. Many times this is true, but if you do it enough, you might find a company that takes an interest in you – the trick is to find the right companies. And the “right” company is usually the smaller one. Multinational conglomerates will usually have a very strict hiring process with a lot of competition. With limited experience in the field, these companies may not be the right ones. Find the boutique companies with a contact email address on their website, and send them your resume and cover letter. Here’s an example:
Subject Line: Summer Internship Opportunities 2016
My name is Melissa and I’m currently a student at Western University studying business. I’m incredibly interested in SuperAwesomeFinance Co. and for the summer I’m looking to gain experience within the FinTech industry. If there are any summer positions available, please do not hesitate to contact me. I’ve attached my resume and cover letter for your review.
Thank you so much.
Another cool resource on the web is a website called AngelList: https://angel.co/. It’s a platform that connects startups with potential employees. There’s thousands of startups on this website and to find one you would be willing to work for, all you have to do is perform a search and put in the required filters – there’s even specific filters like “will sponsor visa” if you want to work abroad. All you have to do is indicate that you are interested in the position and sometimes write a short note and the company is notified. If they are also interested in you, they will send you a message to set up an interview time. The great thing about Angel List is that there are also many part-time positions for students to get some valuable work experience!
Hired.com is a relatively new platform and unique from the other options in that instead of looking for a job on their website, employers look for you. All you have to do is create a profile and you’re in the system!
This is different from the other options because AIESEC is a club. Thankfully it’s a club that is at most universities and colleges across the World. Part of what AIESEC does is connect students on campus to opportunities to work and volunteer abroad. All you have to do is sign up through your local branch, create a profile, and start applying through their opportunities portal. Many companies and volunteer organizations directly partner with AIESEC in order to find employees and volunteers.
So there you have it – there is no reason to let a summer go by without finding an exciting internship opportunity!
This article was contributed by Melissa Shang.