Is it Ever "Too Early" to Apply for an Internship? | Undergrad Success

Is it Ever “Too Early” to Apply for an Internship?

Is it Ever “Too Early” to Apply for an Internship?

Many people view internships in terms of “seasons”.

“Spring” internship season is already here. For many, thinking about “summer” internship season might be low on the priority list. However, many employers are already starting to post openings for summer internships; some are already hiring at a brisk pace for their summer intern teams.

So… is it ever too early to apply for internships?

My thought on this matter is a simple: “No”. And I’ll explain that thought by breaking the answer into three parts…

It’s Never “Too Early”

There are some who say one can apply too early for internships. But how do they define “too early”? Some employers have posted their summer internships since January, so they’re apparently ready to start reviewing resumes well in advance of the summer months. Others wait until April or May to post. And many employers list their internship as “Year Round”… there is no “season”.

How can you apply too early for a year round internship?

When the posting goes online, research the company, tailor your resume to the position, write a high-quality cover letter and apply.  If you present yourself as a confident and competent candidate, and you have the skill set that matches the recruiter’s needs, you’ve given yourself the best chance to get an interview. How early you applied will not be a factor – anyone who tells you different is stuck in a “good economy” time warp.

A-B-L … Always Be Looking

Yes, even when you already have an internship… you should be looking for your next.

Young professionals that brand themselves as highly employable before graduation recognize their current position is only one step on the career path… they plan now, for the next internship or job. During your current internship, make sure you’re networking – making contacts and building relationships that will help you gain your next position.

Another good way to plan ahead is to periodically (but regularly) review online internship and job postings in your industry. Not necessarily to apply. But instead, to be familiar with the latest skills employers in your field are hiring for, and what responsibilities you might face in those positions. This “eye on your future” will help guide your career development, and give you an edge over much of your competition.

Give Yourself a Head Start

Some people enter school with very little idea of what career path to take when they graduate. That’s natural; college is a time for growth and exploration. Explore your career possibilities through internships as soon as possible – starting your freshman year!

The earlier you start, the more time you have to gain experience and see if your chosen profession is really for you. After some time performing the tasks specific to your target industry, you may find you love it, or you just might realize that your internship helped you dodge a career bullet. Don’t wait until you’re a junior or senior, thinking that employers only hire “older” students. Apply as early as you’re ready – with confidence and willingness to learn, you can succeed in an internship at any age, even high school.

The simple truth is, there’s no magic formula to a successful internship search – no waiting period like a post-date “three day rule”; no constraint about “not looking ahead” or some “I’m only a freshman” age cut-off.

When you find an internship that appeals to you – that is the perfect internship and now is the perfect time to apply, regardless of how “early” it may seem.


Undergrad Success would like to thank YouTern for this article!


YouTern enables young talent to become highly employable by connecting them to high-impact internships and mentors – and through contemporary career advice found on their blog, The Savvy Intern

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