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Internships.com On What Employers Want In Interns

If you’re a college student, you’re probably aware that internships play a vital role for your success in job acquisition and retention. The truth is that real-world experience garnered from your internships in actual companies has today become a necessity in helping you land that desired entry-level job when you graduate.

Here are five must-know facts and tips about how employers hire their interns, as revealed to Internships.com in a recent survey:

Fact 1: They’re looking for you.

Almost half of the employers revealed that they’ve searched for interns on Internships.com instead of waiting for candidates to apply and 53% have filled their internships with candidates found on Internships.com.  That means there’s a good chance that your next internship could find you!

TIP #1: Be prepared!  Have your resume polished and ready ASAP so employers can find you.  Make sure your profile is complete and professional.

Fact 2: Their program is NEW.

Almost 42% of employers on Internships.com say their internship program is new which means brand new opportunities are available that didn’t exist last year.

TIP #2: Be open!  A variety of new internship positions have been created this year,  These new opportunities are freshly posted and frequently updated, so be open to expanding your skill set and apply.  Many of these listings are exclusive to Internships.com.

Fact 3: Do alma maters matter?

Employers told Internships.com that relevant experience and interview performance were the biggest factors in choosing an intern – and less than 9% of employers said the college an intern attended mattered. Whether you got a marketing degree in a traditional college or graduated with an online business management degree, it really comes down to the experience you have.

TIP #3: Practice, practice, practice!  Make sure you practice your interview skills focusing on the experience you have that’s relevant to the internship.  Do your homework too.  Be sure to research the company and the person you will be interviewing with and be able to discuss current industry trends.

Fact 4: Social Media – To post or not to post?

That IS the question! More often than not (54%), employers say they check an internship candidate’s social Web presence (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, LinkedIn) during the hiring process.

TIP #4: Be the consummate professional!  As you enter the professional world, the code of conduct is important.  Be aware that what you say and pictures you post may come back to bite you.  Even if they’re a tad impressed that you can continually drink liquid upside down for 38 seconds, chances are good it won’t do great things for your career.

Fact 5: Paid vs. Unpaid?

About 38% of employers say their internships are generally paid.  Whether you secure a paid or an unpaid internship, consider the experience and training as investing in your future career and any financial compensation as icing on the cake.

TIP #5: Be ready to impress! Internships are becoming the new entry level position and many employers currently look to their pool of interns when they’re hiring for an entry level position.  So look for an internship that’s a good fit for you and give it 100%.

Check out internship opportunities at Internships.com.


Daniel Goh is the founder and chief editor of Young | Upstarts, as well as an F&B entrepreneur. Daniel has a background in public relations, and is interested in issues in entrepreneurship, small business, marketing, public relations and the online space. He can be reached at daniel [at] youngupstarts [dot] com.

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