How and When to Search for a Job or Internship
Build the Foundation of Your Search
Behind every successful job or internship search is the answer to a very important question that's not always easy to answer: what are you looking for?
Explore your options and set goals. Here are some questions to consider:
- Short term or long term: Are you looking for a one-to-two year position before pursuing a graduate degree? Would you prefer a position that will help you get started along a specific career path or gain a foothold in a particular industry?
- Industries and sectors of interest: Are there specific industries you’re most interested in? What types of positions within those most appeal to you?
- Skills: Are there skills you’d like to employ or want to develop? Is there something you enjoy that you hope to incorporate into your work?
- Geography: Where do you want to live? What regions of the country or the world? Any specific cities?
- Employer size: Would you like to target large organizations, small start-ups, or something in between?
- Mission and impact: Are there causes you’d like to work on?
- Challenge and growth opportunities: Are you looking for opportunities that have a leadership development component?
How Long Will it Take to Apply?
The short answer: Begin between 6-9 months before you need a job or internship.
If you haven’t started early, that's okay, just plan to spend more concentrated time now. Set some time aside to prioritize the application process weekly. A more dedicated job or internship search can take closer to 2-4 months.
Remember, though: Take it step by step. First apply to the applications you prioritized now, and then go back and look for more.
Resources to Help You Prepare
Career Exploration and Preparation.
LifeLab is designed to support any student — from first-year undergraduates to graduate students — to identify values, skills, receive feedback and suggestions to improve your resume, or begin the search process for internships, grad school, or full-time jobs.
Personalized. Ongoing. Support.
Job & Internship Search Preparation
Looking for support as you search for a job or internship? Design Your Search (DYS) will help you understand what you need to know to complete a successful search.