From my experience, finance internships are extremely competitive and near impossible to get without the proper support, especially so if you’re not at a top university. So after sending out seven dozen applications and landing a finance internship this past summer, I’m ready to share some internship seeking tips that will save you from getting a head ache.
#1 Instead of quantity go with quality,
Or at least find a balance. Do not waste your time applying to almost a hundred finance internships on LinkedIn like I did.
There is a lot of advice out on the web and some say apply to as many internships as possible; I say pick and choose wisely. Yes, it is a numbers game, but it is all about opportunity cost. Quantity costs quality. Quality costs quantity. If you go for shear quantity, you’ll never hear back from the company, which is actually the most common outcome when applying to random internships online without a referral from someone in side the organization. So avoid the frustration, it is an absolute waste of time to write a good cover letter and submit a generic resume for every internship you would like to have; by being a little bit choosier as to what you apply to, you’ll have more time to spend on tip two.
#2 A tailored resume
Your first goal is to get your resume to human eyes and past the Applicant Tracking System (ATS). For this you need to hit the key words that the ATS is looking for. But how do you know what those words are? Start with the job posting’s required and desired skills. Next is doing the research. Look up similar job postings in the same company. A lot of times finance internships are feeder programs for an entry level analyst program; find it and look at what the differences and commonalities are and look to see if there are common themes in the type of applicants that the company is looking for across different postings. Also, while I did not do this myself (I wish I had thought of it earlier), I would recommend leveraging your LinkedIn network of student peers who have landed a prior year’s summer internship similar to the ones you are applying to and ask them if you may look at their resume. It’s much better than googling “finance internship resume examples,” besides, the worst thing that can happen is they say is no or simply never respond to your request.
Lastly, when submitting your resume, submit it as a PDF with minimal formatting. Although I had bullet points in my resume, even bullet points run the risk of screwing up the whole formatting in some systems. I used to have a nice resume with lines separating each section, but sometimes less is more. Read More