Combined with going back to school to get a degree, an internship puts you on the path to a new career. While you might think it will be awkward to work as an intern when you’re decades older than other intern candidates, it won’t be. Just like younger candidates, you’ll learn valuable skills and gain on-the-job experience as an intern. You also have the advantage of having years of life experience to help you succeed.
The process of finding adult internships is similar to finding internships targeted at twentysomethings. Win over potential companies with a well-crafted cover letter, sparkling resume and references from professors and past employers.
When applying for an adult internship, your resume is your place to highlight relevant skills and experience. Odds are that you have past work experience that younger college students can only dream about. Along with highlighting your current educational goals, use your resume to showcase how your past on-the-job experience relates to and makes you an excellent candidate for an internship. For example, if you are in the accounting program at Colorado Christian University and are applying for an internship with an accounting firm, highlight past experience such as bookkeeping on your resume.
Another advantage of being an older intern candidate is that you have a larger pool of potential references to choose from. You aren’t limited to asking your current professors for a recommendation, though they are certainly a good option. A former employer can also provide a stellar reference for you, as long as you are still on good terms with the company. While a professor can give a company an idea of your work ethic and ability to complete tasks as assigned, a past employer can paint an accurate picture of your on-the-job behavior.
Your Cover Letter
When applying for an internship as an adult, the cover letter you send in is really your place to shine. Use the letter to make your case. Let the company know why you’ve decided to further your education as an adult or change careers. A company that offers internships to adult learners wants to hear a compelling story. Don’t just tell your story in the letter, though. Let the company know why hiring you as an intern will benefit not just you but also it.
Earning your college degree as an older student puts you on the path to a new career. Finding an internship as an adult means you’ve got your foot in the door and are just a few steps away from finding a paying job in your new field.