Launching Your Career: Getting Started on Your Internship Search Doesn’t Have to Feel Scary

It’s time to find an internship, and LinkedIn is here to help.

February 23, 2017

As a student, you may be struggling with finding an internship or even just deciding what you want to do after you graduate. You slave over your resume. You re-write your cover letter a million times. You apply to what feels like every company on the planet (or 29, to be exact). Then, your parents start texting you about how the internship search is going. Daily.

Hi Sweetie. Want me to look at your resume again? Honey, have you called your father’s cousin’s assistant yet?

You see, you picked your major because you liked it. Not because it was the path to a specific job or career. You never really gave it much thought until now. You’re probably thinking:

No way I’m living at home with my parents. This degree has got to be worth something! Maybe I’ll just go to grad school.

But wait, you don’t have a LinkedIn profile.

Between classes, extracurricular activities, and sleeping, you never really got around to making a LinkedIn profile. It can feel challenging to figure out what to include when just getting started on your career journey. It may not feel like you have real work experience, and that’s okay.

For now, you put enough on your profile to be credible to your future boss:

  1. Photo? Check.

  2. Education? Check.

  3. Contact information? Check.

  4. Connections with classmates, professors, and parents? Check.

  5. Extracurricular activities or past internships? Check.

In 20 minutes, you make yourself a solid starter profile.

It’s time to muster up the courage to reach out to people who can help.

Contacting an alum for career advice can feel scary and awkward, but it’s all part of the process. Check out LinkedIn’s Alumni tool and Conversation Starters in LinkedIn Messaging to give yourself a jump start. If you’ve noticed someone you’re interested in chatting with has published an article recently or has been mentioned in the news, that’s also a great way to organically start a conversation.

After sending out a few messages on LinkedIn, you start to see replies: “Sure, let’s chat!” You prepare a few questions. You ask them why they chose their jobs and what they do every day and then decide what appeals to you.

Consulting? No

Start-up cultures? Probably not.

Finance? Maybe.

Working in teams? A must.

Large companies? Yes.

You keep reaching out, and ideas keep coming in. After some helpful conversations, you figure out that you want to work in sales at a large technology company.

So when you come across Sara’s profile on LinkedIn, you jump for joy. Sara went to the same university, studied the same major, and she’s now the Director of Sales at your top-choice company. Jackpot!

Messaging Sara on LinkedIn is a breeze now. You know you can talk about your shared university and major, and your interest in the same company.

“I remember being in your shoes like it was yesterday. Happy to chat.”

Now for the happy ending.

Sara connects you with two sales colleagues. One is hiring for an Account Manager. You apply, interview, and you guessed it: You land the internship.

What’s a better feeling than that? Nothing, you say to yourself, nothing.

The moral of the story.

Getting an internship is often daunting, sometimes dreary, but always doable. You have to do the hard work but LinkedIn is right by your side to show you new ideas, help you make connections, and to guide you. We even took a look at the cities, industries, and roles that give you the highest chance of landing your next internship, read more here.

To learn more about how to find a job, check out this SlideShare or start browsing jobs on LinkedIn today:

Your dream internship is within reach. #StartSomething.