Anxious college juniors and seniors are launching searches for summer internships earlier than the traditional spring-break starting date. This is good use of time only if you’re responding to specific job postings. Otherwise, most agencies don’t seriously look at internship resumes until early April or later.
Don’t panic if you’re not aggressively pursuing internship opportunities at this time. Focus on classes and the extra-curricular activities that will separate your resume from others. Most employers will begin to assess summer hiring needs after spring break.
Internship hiring generally is tied to client work demands, which often aren’t determined until the last minute. The number of interns varies from year to year at most agencies depending on workloads. PR agencies appear to be weathering the recession better than other marketing organizations, which is good news for aspiring summer interns.
Recent college grads and seniors need to be vigilant about checking online job postings since a majority of internships are no longer confined to summer months. Full-time, entry-level jobs with agencies come mostly via the internship route.
Focus on paid internships, but realize that unpaid internships can offer important door-opening opportunities. I’m not a fan of unpaid internships unless you’re gaining essential training that will benefit your future job search. The Wall Street Journal’s Jonnelle Marte recently wrote an interesting column about internships, covering legal requirements of employers and other valuable insights.