{Ways to get} an internship ({the fundamental} 2020 reference)

Years ago, {I acquired} a job {being an} intern at Sun Microsystems. I actually {finished up} beating out several Stanford MBA students for the job…as a sophomore in college.

That’s right. A skinny teenage {scholar} beat out people getting their masters {running a business} for an internship. And I landed the role because one {important element} separated me from {all of those other} other applicants: I was a truffle.

The Truffle Principle

Interns are like salt.

Salt {is really a} commodity. You don’t care which {make of} salt you get…they’re {yet} to you. {It is possible to} substitute one {make of} salt for another and nobody {can} tell the difference. {And for that reason}, {the cost of} commodity salt {is incredibly} low.

Much like interns.

Interns {are often} substitutable bodies that only serve to fill headcount requirements. {You don’t} {wish to be|desire to be} a commodity. I’ll say that again:


If {you’re}, you’re {a similar} {because the} next 100+ interns. And {which means} it’s harder {to obtain} hired, harder to {stick out}, and harder {to obtain} meaningful work and experience.

Instead {to be} salt, {you intend to} {be considered a} truffle.

truffle principle

truffle principle

A truffle {is indeed} unique and valuable {that folks} {can pay} disproportionately {to obtain} one. If you’re a truffle, hiring managers won’t {have the ability to} even conceive of substituting you because, {during your} application, you’ve shown {that you could} uniquely solve their problems so deeply that you’ll {be looked at} “{original}.”

When {that occurs}, not only {perhaps you have} secured the internship, {nevertheless, you} have laid {the building blocks} for increased job opportunities {later on}.

That’s the Truffle Principle.

Why most internship applications don’t get read

A while back, I was hiring a content curation intern for IWT and received {a huge amount of} applications. {Actually}, so many apps came {for the reason that} {I possibly could} only afford {to invest} 15 seconds on {each one of these}.

Think {about this}. A {potential employer} will receive 250+ applications in {the initial} 48 hours of posting an internship opening. {Almost all} people consistently produce mediocre applications that {appear to be} everything else {on the market} (salt). Yours must {stick out} (truffle).

Whenever I’m {going right through} job applications for IWT, my first objective {is usually to} DISQUALIFY people {therefore i} can {undertake} the huge stack of apps.

When it {found} the internship, I {started to|begun to} notice {several} insights:

  • It only takes one bad line to disqualify yourself. {For instance}, when I asked if the applicant was a self-starter and resourceful, one replied:“{For just one}, I am {filling in} this survey for the curation position, usually {I’d} have glanced over it, {considered to} myself, ‘Wow, that {appears like} {an awesome} job,’ {and} tell myself, ‘I’m not qualified {for this}.’ Yet here {I’m} {attempting to} learn and put myself {on the market}. ”{The application} {isn’t} a therapy session!!! Highlight why you’re {the very best} for {the positioning}.
  • Every finalist, including the winning candidate, DID {THE SPECIFIC} JOB {rather than just} {discussing} how good {these were}. They built {something} that curated content and sent me {a web link} to {the machine} {or perhaps a} video of it working {therefore i} could see for myself. Now THAT’S {a terrific way to|the best way to} {stick out}.
  • I could separate a salt {from the} truffle {following the} first 10-15 applications. Yes, it’s actually {that simple|so easy} {to inform} if someone is qualified for the role versus {a person who|somebody who} isn’t worth {enough time} to {go through the} application.

It hurts {to listen to} – but it’s true. Salt candidates will say, “Waaaahhh…you should {save money} {time and energy to} be fair.” Winning candidates {know} {this is one way} {the overall game} works, {so that they} spend their time {making certain} their application {sticks out} immediately.

Fight the Shrug Effect

I {obtain it}. It’s {an easy task to} brush {all this} off. It’s {a lot more} comforting {to state}, “Yeah, but it’d be way {better to|simpler to} get an internship {easily} had connected parents/the right major/elite college/whatever.”

Don’t {set up} {your personal} psychological barrier of why {other folks} {will vary} than you! That’s the Shrug Effect and it’s debilitating {with regards to} applying to {any kind of} job.

Yes, maybe 5% – 10% {of individuals} who {obtain the} best jobs and internships were born with rich parents or they’re naturally gifted – {however the} rest {of these} worked their asses off, and {that matters} {a lot more}.

And that’s {just what} you’ll {want to do} {if you would like} an internship.

Here {will be the} 4 {actions you can take} today that’ll take you from {being truly a} salt applicant to a truffle.

How {to obtain} an internship

Step 1: Specify {the precise} role {you need} through SMART objectives

When people hear “get specific,” they’ll typically nod and shrug. “Yeah, yeah. Ramit, {I acquired} it.”

And yet hardly anyone actually does it!

For example, {easily} asked you {at this time}, “What’s your dream internship?” how {can you} respond? 99.9999999% {folks} would say {something similar to}:

  • “I’m {searching for} an internship that’s challenging and rewarding.”
  • “{I wish to|I would like to} work with {the people} on Suits.”
  • “{I wish to|I would like to} learn {a thing that} lets me really make {a direct effect}.”
  • “{I wish to|I would like to} {use} people!”

Pure, unadulterated salt.

That’s {as the} problem with typical goal setting is that the goals set are too broad – {and you also} {do not know} {the place to start}. {When} you set {an objective} like, “{I wish to|I would like to} {use} people,” {you wind up} spinning your wheels.

That’s why I’m {a large} proponent of SMART objectives.

SMART {means} specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-oriented. {Sufficient reason for} each {aspect in} SMART objectives, you’re {likely to} want to {consider} {a couple of} questions that’ll {assist you to} {create a} winning goal.

  • Specific. {Exactly what will} my goal achieve? {What’s} {the complete} outcome I’m {searching for}? What do {I wish to|I would like to} {study from} this internship?
  • Measurable. How {am i going to} know when I’ve accomplished {the target}? What does success {appear to be}? What size company or industry do {I wish to} target?
  • Attainable. {Is there} resources {I have to} achieve {the target}? {What exactly are} those resources? Do {I’ve} connections or unique abilities {which could} help me land {a posture}? (Yes, you do.)
  • Relevant. Why am I {achieving this}? Do {I must say i} {Wish to accomplish} this? {Could it be} a priority {in my own} life {at this time}? {So how exactly does} this internship improve my future?
  • Time-oriented. {What’s} the deadline? {AM I GOING TO} know in {a couple weeks} if I’m {on the right course}? {Just how long} before intern season ends?

Knowing this, we’re {likely to} {desire to} reframe that “{I wish to|I would like to} {use} people” goal into something {a lot more} specific and actionable, {such as for example}, “{I wish to|I would like to} intern in client management at a boutique advertising agency in fall 2017 using my sister’s ex-girlfriend to introduce me.”

Here are {various other} SMART objectives a truffle {could have}:

  • “I’m {seeking to} intern in {the within} sales department at a {social media} company in {LA} {to greatly help} my career in sales.”
  • “I’m {thinking about} interning in development at a women’s issues nonprofit in Washington DC.”
  • “{I wish to|I would like to} intern at {an unbiased} publishing house {centered on} fiction in {SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA} to see {easily} {actually want to} {get into} publishing.”

Do you {observe how} {far better} the SMART objective is {than simply} vague {goal setting techniques}? {Once you} get specific, {you understand} exactly what {you need}. That way, {as it pertains} time to {head to} your network {and begin} asking around for internships, you’re not wasting anyone’s time by making them do {the task} {for you personally}.

In other words, if someone {involves} me and says, “I don’t {know very well what} {I wish to|I would like to} do with {my entire life},” that’s {an extended} discussion that I, frankly, don’t {want}. {Should they} say, “{Have you any idea|Are you aware} any sales managers at B2C tech companies in Silicon Valley?” I’ll introduce them to three within {ten minutes}.

A while back I conducted an interview with {my pal} Noah Kagan. He’s a master at helping people get laser-focused {on the} goals. {Actually}, he actually helped me set {the target} {to create} my first book.

Check out the video of our interview below. Pay special attention at 3:53 where he {discusses} the strategy {he} learned from Mark Zuckerberg {which has} brought him success.

Bonus: {If you need to|In order to} stop making excuses and break yourself out of a rut, download my Ultimate Guide to Habits.

Step 2: Leverage your network {to get the} perfect internship

Luckily, if you’re in college, you {curently have} {an enormous} network {it is possible to} draw upon {to get} internships. If you’re not in college, you’ll {be} able to {look for a} great internship – though you’ll {need to be} {slightly} more creative in your search.

Resources for internships {could be} {split up} into these distinct areas:

  1. College career center
  2. Internet
  3. Friends and family

From these areas, you’ll {have the ability to} draw upon a well of seemingly infinite internship opportunities.

College career center

If you’re in college and {seeking to get} {an incredible} internship, you’re in luck. {Almost all} {universites and colleges} have career centers {focused on} finding you {employment} you’ll love. Some even offer services like resume consultations, mock interviews, and networking events. More on that later.

Any career center {must have} an updated database of internship opportunities available either at {the specific} center or online ({probably} both). {Pick} {ought to be to} {proceed through} this database and cull through it for the internships {which are} germane {for you}.

Remember that SMART objective you set? Use that as a parameter {where} you’ll filter and {choose} which internships you’ll {connect with}.

You should literally be {recording} the information {for every} one – you’ll {require it} {once you} actually start {the application form} process.


A few great sites {to look at}:

  • LinkedIn. Aside from {as an} amazing networking tool, LinkedIn {offers a} handy job search tool {filled up with} companies {searching for} top talent.
  • Craigslist. You read that right. Up-and-coming {companies are} constantly {embracing} Craigslist {each day} {to consider} interns, and it’ll be {an easy task to} set yourself {in addition to the} rest with the Craigslist Penis Effect.
  • Internships.com. A great resource {to get} remote internships {in the event that you} don’t {feel just like} {investing in a} plane ticket to fly {in the united states}.
  • WayUp. Formerly Looksharp.com, {this web site} offers opportunities from over 30,000 companies. 

Go through these websites and do as you did {together with your} college career center database. {Jot down} {each one of these} that’s {highly relevant to} you {as well as your} goals.

PRO TIP: {Will there be} {an organization} you’re already {a large} fan of? {Perhaps you} love reading Cosmo? Or watching Conan {every evening}? If it fits your SMART objective, {make sure to} check if there’s an internship at {the business} you admire – mention {you’re} a fan on {the application form} and why {which makes} you {much better than} {another} 249 applicants ({know} {the home} style, how Conan picks his video games, how Anna Wintour likes her coffee, etc…).

Use {your friends and relations} to network

Be sure to {speak to your} friends, parents, parents’ friends, parents’ friends’ friends, your friend’s friend’s uncle twice removed…

You {obtain the} picture. {There are a great number of} companies {offering} internships – companies {individuals} {you understand} already {just work at}.

So {discuss with}! {Not merely} might {you discover} an internship {you like}, but you {curently have} a leg {through to} {the application form} process {as you} KNOW {an individual} working there (I’ll touch on that more {whenever we} {discuss} referrals).

Keep {everything} organized

Be sure to record {all the} internships you’ve {within} a Google or Excel spreadsheet {so that you can} {keep an eye on} {all of them} as you’re applying.

When recording, {It is advisable to} write down {the business} name and role, {along} the internship, a {deadline}, and {whether} you’ve applied yet – at MINIMUM.

When you put it together, here’s what {it could} {appear to be}:

Company – RoleInternship lengthDue dateApplied
IWT – Editorial InternSummer 201705/16Yes
CAA – Script ReaderFall 201706/06Yes

Of course, {you could be|you may be|you will be} as detailed as {you need} {together with your} spreadsheet {you need to include} {things such as} application requirements and {whether} {you will need} an essay.

Be sure {to help keep} your spreadsheet updated and safe. {It’ll} come in {really handy} when you’re actually {deciding on} the internship.

Step 3: Find {an ideal} referral

This {is normally} {where in fact the} Shrug Effect {will come in}. People {Want to} {discuss} how they don’t have a network {so that they} can’t get referrals. When I {inquire further}, “Well, {who’ve} you tried {to attain} out to?” they respond with a blank look and shrug.

  • SALT: “I tried but {I simply} don’t know anyone! I emailed {a couple of} friends {however they} {do not know}. It’s frustrating when it’s {about} WHO {you understand}. {How do} they expect me {to learn} {each one of these} people when I’m {only a} student?”
  • TRUFFLE: “First, I checked my LinkedIn profile and {delivered} some emails. I tested 3 emails and {the 3rd} is performing best – I’m {obtaining a} 50% response rate. I {setup|create} 3 coffee meetings for {in a few days}. {I QUICKLY} went into my college career office. I also mentioned {just what} I’m {searching for} when I was talking with professors, {and something} {of these} knew a director at {an organization} {I wish to|I would like to} {work with}! So {we have been} having coffee tomorrow.”

See the difference? The salt applicant just asked {several} buddies before {quitting}. When truffles {opt to} find an internship, they draw upon their network and connections {to get the} roles that aren’t even public.

They can send {several} emails and bypass {the complete} hiring apparatus {and obtain} {a gathering} with a {potential employer}. These {will undoubtedly be} friends who’ll {attest to} them saying, “{You should} {speak to} this person,” which profoundly changes the tenor of the conversation.

Put yourself in the hiring manager’s shoes and imagine being introduced to {a person who|somebody who} you “{have to} {speak to}” {rather than} random applicant {in need of} college credit and {a small amount of} money. Who {do you consider} would get your interest?

Once {you discover} {several} potential referrals, {you need to} {inquire further} to…well, refer you. {This is often|This could be} as simple as taking them out to coffee or shooting them {a contact}.

Here’s a template {you may use} to meet {just about anybody} {alongside} analysis on why it works.

To: Jane

From: Samantha

Subject: Michigan State grad – {would like to} chat about {your projects} at Deloitte

Hi Jane,

My name is Samantha Kerritt. I {head to} school at Michigan State and {found} your name on our alumni site. [TELL THEM {THE METHOD THAT YOU|THE WAY YOU} {FOUND} THEIR NAME {AND THAT MEANS YOU|WHICH MEANS YOU} DON’T {LOOK LIKE} A CREEP.]

I’d {want to} get {your job} advice for 15-20 minutes. I’m {seeking to get} an internship at the Acme Company and {understand that} you’ve worked there before. [THE FIRST SENTENCE SAYS WHAT SHE WANTS. {MANY PEOPLE ARE} FLATTERED {THAT FOLKS} WANT/VALUE THEIR ADVICE.]

Do {you imagine} {I possibly could} ask you some questions about your role at Acme and what motivated {one to} {pick the} company? I’d especially {want to} {understand how} you made {your alternatives} after graduating from Michigan State. [“MICHIGAN STATE” REINFORCES SHARED BOND.]

I can meet you for coffee or at your office…or wherever it’s convenient. {I could} work around you! [THE BUSY PERSON IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN YOU. TREAT THEM ACCORDINGLY.]




One {of the greatest} {reasons for having} this email is its brevity. There’s {low fat} in the message {also it} just tells the recipient what she {must} know.

PRO TIP: {Understand that} spreadsheet? Referrals {certainly are a} perfect addition to it {if you need to|in order to} keep them organized {aswell} – {it really is} super awkward {in the event that you} ask {exactly the same} person {for just two} referrals.

Step 4: Expertly {plan} {the application form} and interview

Yet another area where salt applicants {are prepared to} shrug off. “Yeah, yeah. {I understand} {I have to} prepare.”

You don’t just “{have to} prepare.” {You have to be|You should be} willing to {beat} what “needs” to {be achieved} {to become} ready for the interview.

  • SALT: “I spent {one hour} browsing their website and Googling around for news about them. I also talked to {a pal} on {the telephone} for {five minutes} about what {sort of} questions he thought {I will} expect.”
  • TRUFFLE: “I’d already met with 3 people on the team {prior to the} interview, {therefore i} knew {just what} their challenges were, {and also} {what} they used {to spell it out} them. I wrote {those} notes down, then compared them {using what} I found {on the net}. {I QUICKLY} crafted my narrative. I invited {a pal} over – he’s a management consultant so he knows {how exactly to} ask tough questions – and we conducted a mock interview {for just two} 2 hours. I recorded the video and stopped every {quarter-hour|a quarter-hour} to calibrate.”

Sound hard? Good. {A lot of people} won’t do the {effort}, giving you {top of the} hand {once you} DO.

The {individuals who} {devote} 2x {your time and effort} {reunite} 10x {the outcomes}. Yes, you’ll {need to} work harder – BUT you’ll {obtain the} first pick of internships, {whilst some} fight over scraps.

Create a mouthwatering resume

The resume {is frequently} make or break {with regards to} job applications. That’s why you’re {likely to} {desire to} craft one that’ll leave the {potential employer} clamoring {to employ} you.

Before you start {recording} every job you have including going door-to-door selling girl scout cookies, {you should know} {both} elements that {it requires} {to produce a} fantastic resume:

  1. It {will need} a narrative. Great resumes aren’t {only a} {set of} facts. If that’s all that’s in your resume, you’re not {likely to} be memorable enough to catch the hiring manager’s attention in 15 seconds. Instead, craft a narrative. {Consider}, “After someone reads my resume for 10 seconds, {what’s} {the thing} {they ought to} remember about me?”
  2. Cut the fat – leave the filet mignon. {The next} most important {section of} crafting a world-class resume is cutting the fat. Every word must earn its {put on} the page. If it’s not {increasing} and improving the narrative, cut it. {If it’s}, ask if there’s another word or phrase {that could} {get the job done} better. I’ve hired {a large number of} people at IWT. {Which means} reading {a large number of} resumes. {Many of them|A lot of them} were 1-2 pages and 50% – 60% of {it might} {have already been} deleted. When I see resumes {such as this}, I assume {they} don’t {understand how to|learn how to} write a resume ({wii} sign) or they don’t have anything {easier to} share.Don’t {do that}. Make every word count. It’s {easier to} have a shorter, more meaningful resume {when compared to a} long one {filled up with} garbage.

Check out my 15-minute video on {developing a|making a} winning resume. {Inside it}, I {demonstrate} {the precise} techniques {along with the|and also the} resume I used to land me {most of} my internships in college.

PRO TIP: {Be sure you} keep {discussing} your spreadsheet {to ensure} you’ve {put on} {all the} internships {on your own} list by marking “yes” in the applied column.

Dominate your interview with The Briefcase Technique

This is {among} my absolute favorite {ways to} utilize in interviews, salary negotiations, client proposals – whatever! And {the wonder} of {it really is} that you’ve already done 90% of {the task} before you {head into} the interview.

To any boss or {potential employer}, {the very best} incentive {to provide you with} an internship is {realizing that|understanding that} {you’ll} add value to {the business}. Knowing this, you’re {likely to} want to {make a} case {on your own} to showcase how you’re {an individual} completely {worth} {the positioning}.

That’s why {I’d like} {one to} utilize The Briefcase Technique and compile a proposal showcasing {the precise} areas in {the business} wherein {you can include} value. You’re {likely to} bring this 1-5 page proposal with you {once you} interview, {so that you can} {grab} the document and outline how exactly you’re {likely to} solve the company’s challenges {through the} interview.

Simply say, “I’d {want to} {demonstrate} something I {come up with},” {and} literally {grab} your proposal document detailing the pain points of {the business} and EXACTLY {ways to} help them. IWT bonus points {in the event that you} actually {work with a} briefcase.

By identifying the pain points {the business} is experiencing, {it is possible to} show the {potential employer} where specifically you’re {likely to} add value – {causing you to} {an extremely} valuable hire.

I {get into} {a lot more} detail on The Briefcase Technique in this 2-minute video. {Take a look} below.

Of course, because you’re {successful}, you’re {likely to} {desire to} prep {a lot more} for the interview. So {here are some} great resources from IWT that’ll {assist you to}:

Always remember: {For the} interview, what do SALT applicants do? And what should a TRUFFLE applicant do?

I {desire to} {provide you with a|offer you a} head start. Today, I’m {providing you} {usage of} a video {on how best to} master the art of interviewing. In the video, you’ll meet Karen – {a recently available} college graduate {without} experience who used my Dream Job material and coaching to land {not only} one, but TWO dream jobs. {You may use} the same {technique to} get {an incredible} internship you’ll love.

Master the Internship Interview

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