The 10 Best Websites For Finding An Internship
Susan Adams , FORBES STAFF Alexis DePuyt, 21, an English major at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY, was spending the spring semester of her junior year studying in London, when she started hunting for a summer internship back in the States. She logged onto a website called Internships.com and looked for positions near her parents’ home in Philadelphia. Up popped a posting for a paid summer internship at a three-year-old boutique marketing firm called Sweet Rose Studios in nearby Blue Bell, PA. Through Internships.com she sent in a résumé and cover letter. Within weeks she heard from the firm’s founder, Sean Rose, who interviewed her via Skype. “She was very ambitious and smart and she knew how to research what we do online,” he recalls. DePuyt got the internship and loved it. “It was a great way to utilize my writing skills,” she says. “I did blogging, emailing and worked on attracting prospective customers.” Says Rose, “She’s a terrific writer, very ambitious, independent and able to do things without a ton of babysitting.”
In most of my stories about using the Internet to find work, I exhort job seekers to limit their time online. Spending eight hours plugging your search criteria into job board aggregators like Indeed or SimplyHired and then sending your résumé into a black hole by hitting the “apply” button, is almost guaranteed to get you nowhere. Most jobs posted online have either already been filled or will likely be taken by someone with a personal connection at the company. If you want to have a shot at getting hired for a job listed online, you have to reach beyond the posting, scouring LinkedIn and your personal network for a contact at the company, meeting with that contact, doing lots of research on the company, trying to land an in-person meeting with the hiring manager by writing a carefully-crafted email that shows how impassioned you are about the position and how you can solve the company’s problems.
But I think the story is different for internships, especially if you’re college-age and looking for a summer spot. Many companies field applicants from job boards. Amanda Fox, 20, a junior at the University of Connecticut, had never done an internship. Instead she had worked summers as a lifeguard at the YMCA. She wanted an internship where she could apply some of what she was learning as an economics major. On Internmatch.com she signed up to get daily notifications for new postings. One of them was for Enterprise Rent-a-Car at a location in Vernon, CT, just five minutes from where her parents live. Internmatch referred her directly to Enterprise’s site, she applied online and got the job, which pays $10.50 an hour. “I didn’t have to jump through any hoops,” she says. “Internmatch was all I needed.”
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I don’t want to deter anyone from hunting for internships the way I usually recommend job seekers go about their search, by first tapping their network, relying on personal referrals and targeting companies that attract them. But because online searches really can work for internships, and also help you focus on what you want, I’ve put together a list of the best sites for finding an internship:
1. LinkedIn: Not only should you use LinkedIn to hunt for internships, you should build a fleshed-out profile and reach out to everyone you know, especially professional contacts, on the 12-year-old Mountain View, CA professional networking site. Get people you’ve worked for to write you recommendations. Do include volunteer work.
To search for internship listings, go to the jobs tab at the top of the page and put “internship” in the search box. Then refine your search by filling in the boxes on the left side of the page. I searched for “marketing internship” and a New York City zip code came up with ten pages of listings. One downside: You can’t filter for paid or unpaid positions. The most valuable aspect of LinkedIn: instantly seeing which of your contacts works at a company or knows people who work there. I also recommend college students get their parents to search their own LinkedIn networks for contacts. Companies pay varying rates to list internships and jobs on LinkedIn (a 30-day posting in San Francisco costs $499), so they are serious about hiring for many of those jobs. A possible downside is that the fee might deter smaller players, like Sean Rose, who says he listed on Internships.com because it was free and he was only hiring one intern.
2. Glassdoor: Founded in 2007 and based in Sausalito, CA, Glassdoor gets its internship listings from several sources, including company websites, partnerships with job boards and directly from employers. But its main attraction is that it offers an instant way to search for salaries, company reviews and descriptions of job interviews. Its interface is straightforward, though for smaller companies, the salary and review functions don’t always bear fruit. In the search fields I tried putting in “paid marketing internship” and in the location box, New York City, and I got 21 listings. When I clicked on the first listing that came up, for Inspired Marketing Associates in the Bronx, I found just two company reviews and no salary listings. But a paid internship for Major League Baseball had 37 reviews and one internship salary ($1,660/month).
3. Google: Don’t underestimate the power of a Google search. I put in “paid marketing internship New York City” and got hits for several of the sites in this piece and others I’m not familiar with, like FindSpark, which bills itself as having “the best creative internships & entry level jobs in NYC.” I like that you can filter for paid internships (I believe that by law, almost all internships should be paid, but that’s another story), though when I filtered for paid marketing internship, only one job came up, at Inc. magazine. Still, Google is a great shortcut.
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