Your Internship Job Listings Stink: 6 Ways To Turn Them Around

Attracting the best and brightest intern candidates to your internship program isn’t an easy task. In fact, the search for talented interns often leaves us overlooking some of the most valuable pieces of the recruiting and hiring puzzle -- namely, your company’s internship job listing.

Putting together a knockout internship job listing for a role within your internship program shouldn’t be that hard, right? I beg to differ. There’s an art to drafting an internship job listing that inspires the awe of potential intern candidates and conveys beneficial information. And more often than not, internship listings fall flat when it comes to displaying both of these crucial traits.

If your internship listings are falling flat, you may be missing out on a slew of noteworthy candidates. Take your internships back to the drawing board with these six ways to turn your internship job descriptions around:

1. Lighten up the serious tone. Believe it or not, your overall tone within your internship job listing is what’s going to sell your company culture. If your potential intern candidate doesn’t feel your company voice matches their own interests, it’s likely they’re going to move on.

It’s time to loosen up and have a little bit of fun. Really, you can still effectively promote a professional company culture while dropping an overtly serious tone. If you’re not ready to add in a playful tone, try spicing up your wording to draw in your intern candidate reader.

2. Sell your company. Since your potential intern candidates are likely to be new to the professional world, it’s important to begin your internship job listing by sharing a few selling points about your company. What’s going to help you stand out from hundreds of other listings available online? Is it a large network of company workers and alumni, the opportunity to tackle major client projects, or the chance to eventually acquire full-time employment? Share what makes you unique to entice the right potential intern candidates.

3. Market the internship role. According to a recent InternMatch study, 58.9 percent of students think gaining experience and building a portfolio is the most important aspect of an internship experience. Forget the bulleted list of vague responsibilities like “quality control,” “administrative duties” or “assistance with marketing efforts” -- interns need the opportunity to get their hands dirty.  

Your interns will be with you to learn, so why not tell them what they will be gaining during their time with you? When drafting your internship job listing, be sure to create a section where you tell potential intern candidates what skills they will learn or polish during their time with you, as well as the projects they will be undertaking.

4. Fine-tune your requirements. Go beyond simply listing the majors you’re looking for in your internship job listing. There’s a lot more required of your interns than having a related major. Instead, consider honing in on required soft and technical skills.

For example, your internship position may call for a special interest in nonprofit management, communication and organization skills, as well as familiarity with social networking websites and related social tools. Presenting these requirements will allow potential intern candidates to point to specific experiences where they’ve gained this knowledge, and can self-select when it comes to applying or weeding themselves out of the running -- all of which will save you time in the long run.

5. Share something extra. A great way to put the icing on the top of your internship job listing is to share the perks your interns are going to experience during their time with you. This may be specific training, a special mentorship program, attendance at numerous industry conferences, or even an outstanding remote work policy. Whatever you’re offering -- even if it’s a weekly board game night or bring your pet to work day -- find a unique way to share it with the reader.

6. Make sure it’s mobile-friendly. Because 71 percent of Millennials -- your target audience for filling internships -- are smartphone owners, having a mobile-compatible job site and internship job listing is a must. Ensure your job site is smartphone friendly before you post. It’s also important to make the application process as simplified as possible to allow for ease when applying via a mobile device.

If your internship job listing isn’t up to par, you’re likely to miss out on great intern candidates. Make sure what you’re presenting is worthy of the attention of students and recent graduates before you post!

How do you make your internship job listings stand out from the crowd?

Ashley Mosley is Community Engagement Manager of InternMatch, an online platform connecting the best intern candidates and employers. Connect with Ashley and InternMatch on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

Image courtesy of Nicolas Raymond; Flickr

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