Are you looking for an internship that starts in the next couple of months? Whether you’ve been searching and haven’t found a good fit yet, or are just starting to explore opportunities—we know finding an internship in a short period of time isn’t easy.
The good news is that once you’ve completed your Handshake profile, you already have an advantage. Here are some ways that you can fast-forward to accepting an offer.
Follow employers you want to work for
When you follow an employer on Handshake, you get important updates that can boost your internship search. Just click the “Follow” button on the upper right-hand corner of an employer’s Handshake page, and you’ll be the first to know when they post new jobs and internships. This will help you get a head start on applying to relevant opportunities and ensure you don’t miss application deadlines.
You’ll also be notified when the employers you follow are hosting an on-campus event or virtual event on Handshake, or will be at a career fair. So you can plan to attend these events and meet recruiters face-to-face or online—an invaluable way to stand out to employers.
Explore more employers and cities
There are employers of all sizes and in every industry on Handshake—so look for opportunities beyond the most notable names. Smaller companies and local businesses may still have open positions. The good news is that there are nearly 500,000 employers on Handshake, so the chances are good that you’ll find a match.
There are several Handshake resources to help you learn more about any employer, including those you’re unfamiliar with. When you click on an employer’s Handshake page, you can see reviews from other students and alumni who have worked there. Reviews are helpful for learning about the internship responsibilities, company culture, and more.
Additionally, if you’re able and open to living somewhere else during your internship, you can broaden your search by location. Go to the “Your Interests” section of your profile and add more places you’d like to work in. This will open up a bigger pool of employers and internships available to you, and will increase the chances of recruiters finding you during their searches.
Interested in remote location/”work from home” options? Head to the Job Search page on Handshake, and add the word “remote” to your job search. This will show you relevant job postings that have the option of remote work.
Enlist the help of other students and alumni
There are more than six million students and recent alumni actively using Handshake, so you don’t have to job search alone! When viewing a job or employer page, you can see students and alumni that have worked there and message them for advice about applications, interview questions, and more.
If there is an alum that’s a current employee of the company, send them a brief message introducing yourself, and ask if they’re open to chatting about their job and experience. Share why you’re interested in the company, and tell them you’d like to learn more—instead of mentioning an internship directly. Even if there isn’t a current opening for you, these conversations help build a network of contacts that may be able to help with future openings.
Consider alternate work options
If you don’t find an internship now, there are many other ways to gain useful experience. Explore part-time jobs on Handshake so you can start working without a lengthy application and interview process. You also can look for volunteer opportunities at a local non-profit organization, or take on a leadership role with a club on campus.
Employers like to see that you’ve had responsibilities outside of the classroom—it doesn’t have to be an internship. Be sure to add new work experience to your Handshake profile and highlight the skills developed in your role. Your unique background and skills help lead the way to that coveted internship and first full-time role.
Finally, remember that it’s never too early to start looking for a future internship! Employers will begin posting internships for next semester a few months in advance. Be sure to check Handshake often for upcoming opportunities and help ensure you get the internship you want.