Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

How To Find An Internship After You Graduate

Graduation marks a significant chapter in a person’s life. After years of relying on student loans and family support to get through, uncertainty now stares in the face of a fresh graduate trying to enter the job market.

As the economic crunch pushes companies to choose only the best candidates, fresh graduates can’t help but compete against more seasoned employees for jobs that often require experience. It’s therefore understandable that they may rank low in an employer’s selection table, especially if they haven’t had any work experience. 

Internships can provide a new graduate with a fighting chance in landing a full-time work. 

If you're exploring how to find an internship after you graduate, it is essential to weigh the pros and cons, especially when it comes to unpaid internships. To gain a deeper understanding of the considerations, read more about unpaid internships that will provide you with valuable insights to help you make informed decisions about your post-graduate career path.

What Are the Benefits of an Internship?

An internship allows you to explore your chosen career path. It provides you with real-world experience of how to put your school-fed theories into action. Internships also help you to:

Learn new skills. If you’ve never held a job, apply for an internship to acquire the skills needed to make your resume more appealing to potential employers. Some skills are innate, while others are learned with practice. By being in an actual work setting, you will develop essential skills related to time management, teamwork, and critical thinking, among many others.   

Develop your knowledge. Being mentored by industry veterans and key industry players, completing an internship provides you with an opportunity to build upon the theories you learned in school and apply them in real life.   

Establish connections. Individuals who coach you in your internship program may become your character references in the future. They’ve seen you work and can vouch for your ethics, skill, and competencies. If you manage to create a good professional and personal relationship with them, they may be able to provide useful contacts or links to key persons in the industry. 

Get a job. Interns have a higher chance of getting hired, with 7 out of 10 snagging a job position in the company they interned with, a 2012 industry survey revealed. After seeing how motivated you are and how your skills have developed during your internship, companies may consider hiring you if a position opens up. 

How to Find an Internship After Graduation

Take note that finding an internship is by no means different from looking for a job. After finding out which career path you want to take, you can start exploring the companies you want to intern with by following these steps. 

Add “meat” to your resume. Ideally, you should work on your resume even before graduating. Joining campus organizations and taking summer jobs are two of the easiest ways to do it. 

If you haven’t yet done so, you can still show what you have to offer by building your online portfolio. If you’re a journalism graduate, you may want to create a website to showcase your writing and photography skills. 

Prepare your cover letter and resume. Have your professional resume and cover letter ready. To increase your chances of getting an internship, avoid sending a generic letter of intent and modify it specifically to the position you’re applying for.

Attend job-related activities. Most universities have page sections that allow companies and organizations to post job vacancies. If not, check whether your school has a job board where work opportunities may be available. In some occasions, universities and companies conduct job and internship fairs, so make your presence felt in these activities.  

Even better, there are third-party organizations that partner with industry players to link students, graduates and job hunters to fill in internship, permanent, and contractual positions.

Create an account on career and job sites: Companies sometimes offer internship positions on job and career sites, and all you have to do is check which sites offer legitimate listings before creating an account. Look for internship programs or non-specific jobs. You may also filter and tweak the search categories to reflect the ones that fit you. 

In some cases, applying for several internships could work. But showing interest in specific positions may increase your chances of getting an internship. Think about the skills and competencies you currently possess, and how it may add value to the company you’re applying for. Consider the following: 

  • Your degree:  As an intern with minimal work experience, the first step in getting the job of your dreams may be to find out the common job titles for those who graduated with the same degree as yours. You can’t apply for software development internships, for instance, if you have a degree in social work.  
  • Your experience: Check your previous work experience and align it to the position or role that the company is searching for. An experience in running a family enterprise would prepare you for a business internship, to give you an example. 
  • Your skills: Adaptability, time management and problem-solving skills, a can-do attitude, critical-thinking, and attention to detail are a few of the generic skills that companies are looking for. If you have these skills, highlight them in your resume or cover letter.     

Tap your connections. Not all companies choose to advertise their job or internship vacancies so it’s always a good idea to reach out to your network for some leads. Talk to your professors, school staff, colleagues, friends and school alumni to see whether they can recommend companies willing to accept interns or if they can link you to key persons in the organization. 

If you can secure a recommendation letter from any prominent academic person or businessman, do it. 

Research companies that offer internships. Some companies, medical facilities, and nonprofit organizations offer paid and unpaid internship programs. Grab the opportunity and sign up for these programs to build your work experience. 

Large companies and organizations typically have a special page dedicated to internship programs. Explore the page to find out the pertinent information such as requirements, qualifications, and deadline for application. Before doing this, make time to learn as much as you can about the organization you wish to apply for. 

Contact companies directly.   If you’re eyeing specific companies, be proactive and contact them via phone or e-mail to ask if they can accommodate you, even if they’re not hiring. Request an informational interview if they’re open to it. 

Sign up for a volunteer work. While waiting for feedback from the companies you’ve applied to, join cause-oriented or advocacy groups that may have links with the industries in which you want to intern.  This way you can build your resume and expand your network of contacts at the same time. 

Useful Tip: 

Check your social media accounts. Headhunters use the Internet to screen internship and job applicants, so make sure your Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts look professional. Remove embarrassing and unprofessional posts or public rants to avoid leaving a bad impression with your potential employers.        


Learning is a never-ending process and internships are a great way to absorb the skills and knowledge required in landing a job. By allowing companies to see what you can do and how serious you are to excel in your chosen field, you keep yourself ahead of other applicants, even the more experienced ones.