What to Look For in a Startup Internship and How to Land One
Are you considering interning with a startup in tech, healthcare, or more? Startups are exciting places to work because you'll be witnessing the growth of a potentially outstanding company. Even better, internships can help you decide whether certain careers or positions are the right fit for you without wasting years in a company you dislike.
When you do find the perfect internship, you'll find mentors who can help you along with your career growth. You'll also be able to identify the skills you need in order to be a more competitive worker in the field. However, it all starts with finding the right internship first.
With this in mind, read on to learn how to land the best startup internship and what to look for doing your search!
Discovering the Best Startup Internships
Startup internships can be vital to your career growth even if you're not sure what you want to do yet. By interning at a small company, you'll be able to determine ahead of time whether it's the right fit for you. If you're interested in technology, software engineering startup internships can help you find what facets of the company are interesting to you or the skills you need to improve on.
However, it's important to remember that not all startups are right for you. Take some time to create a list of companies you're interested in that are relevant to your future career. Here are a few tips to get you started:
Consider Your Interests
It's important that you focus on working for companies that you're interested in learning more about. You can start by making a list of websites you frequently use as well as those you feel you could contribute to.
Websites or products you already use and engage with are great candidates for internships because you're already familiar with their brand and product. This puts you in a much better position to offer unique insights.
Conduct Your Research
Once you have a small list of companies you're interested in interning with, it's important to do a little research before you start sending out your queries. If you're able to find information on the cofounders, see if they're people you would actually enjoy working with. Would they be good mentors with their experience and skills?
You'll also want to research who the companies' competitors are along with their latest product launches and development. See if you can find interviews or articles written by the founders.
Attaining this knowledge will help you decide whether the company is worth interning for. If you're still interested in the company, you'll be able to differentiate yourself from other applicants because of your knowledge of the company.
Use the Right Tools
If you're struggling to find interesting companies to intern for, you may not be using the right tools. You can get an idea of the kind of companies that are looking for interns by browsing sites like Angie's List and LinkedIn.
You can also utilize recruiting websites like Work In Startups and WayUp. These websites help you explore internships that are already being offered in your local area. You can see what's available and the requirements and description for each internship position.
How to Get an Internship in Startups
Once you've found a startup that you're interested in, how do you ensure that you'll get the position? If you've been doing your research, you may already have a good idea of the kind of interns they're looking for. Here are a few more tips to get you started:
Your resume needs to be speaking directly to the job or internship position you're applying for. Keep it clear with an active voice, and try to keep the resume to one page so recruiters can easily scan the page. You can also use words that you find in the internship description itself to signify that you read their requirements.
If you're applying for a graphic design or programming position, a relevant portfolio can showcase your talent even if you don't have a lot of experience in the field. Create a simple one-page website that you can provide a link to in your portfolio or email. Remember to include a copy of your resume on the website alongside your portfolio.
Building a Brand
If you're determined to follow a certain career trajectory, you can also begin building your personal brand. This means creating an authentic online presence that's built upon a strong network of industry contacts. Make sure to have a professional headshot taken and use it in your LinkedIn profile, Facebook, and Twitter.
You can include an objective statement in the "about me" sections of your profiles. Lastly, interact and engage! Retweet relevant articles in your industry that you agree with. Build connections with people you'd like to work with.
Last but not least, don't forget to follow-up. Whether you emailed a resume or sent a message on LinkedIn, wait at least a week. If you receive no word on whether you got the internship or not, send a polite email about the status.
You never know if the person you were corresponding with was busy or overtaxed that week. A simple follow-up email or call may be the difference between missing out on a quality internship.
Finding the Perfect Startup Internship
Finding the best startup internship for you always starts with considering your interests, skills, and the companies you'd like to work for. Conduct your research and learn about the founders and cofounders, what they stand for, and whether you feel that this company will help you progress with your career plans.
Ready to learn more ways to land the perfect internship? Visit our Honor Society Magazine today for more tips and guidance!