If you want the job, you must intern, intern, intern: It's the refrain that never ends. The educational—and often unpaid—experience is recommended for careers from fashion designer to investment banker. But the really good internships can be enormously competitive, so how do you land the summer stint of your door-opening dreams?
TheStreet.com has 10 tips for making it happen.
There's some very helpful advice in here. In short: Tap your teachers, your school's career services office, and your friends for leads. Freshen your résumé, improve your interviewing skills, choose great references, and be willing to move. Also, don't pin your hopes on a single internship, and stay on top of companies until the last minute.
Company websites are also mentioned as a good place to find openings. But don't forget to fully exploit the Web in other ways. Take a look at this online résumé. It's packed with links to LinkedIn and Facebook profiles, a blog, and websites that provide key insight into the résumé writer.
This may be a bit much for someone who isn't seeking a Web 2.0-related job, but recruiters are increasingly navigating social networks, and it's worth it to clean up your profile and make an introduction.
Let me also add an old-fashioned plug for open-mindedness here. Internships at flashy companies are great for your résumé and possibly your skill set. But you can learn sales at a small firm. You can work on terrific projects at little-known companies. The world is full of successful people who got their start at small-town spots and no-name firms.
The world is also full of successful companies that were once no-name firms depending on employees and interns who were willing to take a risk on them. When Google hired its first employee in 1998, the company could hardly have depended on its illustrious name. Be brave and look beyond a label. Then go work hard and work smart.