5 Tips for Applying to an Accounting Internship

If you are applying to an accounting internship, you have come to the right place. In nearly every industry, internships on your resume make it easier to land a job, either where you interned or elsewhere. This is no different for accountants. Intern hopefuls should follow the important tips outlined below to ensure your best chance for landing internships.

Resource: Top 10 Online Accounting Degree Programs

1. Equip Yourself With As Much Knowledge As Possible

The old saying “knowledge is power” is applicable to applying to accountant internships, as well as performing well once you land one. You will want to learn as much about your industry as you can, including current trends, and especially about the company or companies at which you are interested in interning. Read articles, trade publications and familiarize yourself with the state of the industry. Consider the education you have received and the experience that has come from that. This will all help you when hunting for internships.

2. Practice Interviewing

Much like when searching for a regular job, applicants to internships need to perform well in an interview. Be sure to do research and practice giving interviews in order to best prepare. Some of the standard job interview tips that apply to internship interviews as well include arriving on time, dressing nicely and being prepared with questions. Most schools offer mock interviews to prepare and coach students on how to give a good interview. Always come prepared with a list of questions and turn the interview into a back and forth conversation rather than just passively answering questions. You will be far more likely to impress the interviewer that way.

3. Leverage Your School Relationship

Some accounting programs actually require you to spend some time as an intern in order to graduate. There programs tend to be of higher quality because they are offering their students an important tool that drastically increases their chances of success, so it should be something you look for when choosing a program to begin with. Schools that train accountants often have relationships with local firms, so they can also point you in the right direction or put in a good word for you, especially professors willing to recommend you.

4. Submit Cover Letters

Cover letters are critical when it comes to transforming from student to intern. Your resume will give your potential employer the facts about your education and experience, but your cover letter is where you can show off your personality and passion for your chosen career. Use it to elaborate on your resume rather than repeat what has already been stated. You can perhaps relate anecdotes about why being an accountant appeals to you and what about the firm draws you to wanting to work there. Most applications for accountant internships will ask for a cover letter, but even if they don’t, you should still submit one.

5. Follow Up

The last thing you need to do after being in for an interview is to follow up with the employer. Be sure to get your interviewer’s contact information before, during or after the interview so you can send a hand-written thank you note, thanking them for their time. It’s important not to be obnoxious, but following up after a week or so if you haven’t heard anything back is a good idea to bring you to top of mind and to get any updates about your application.

Like most internships, getting an internship as a fledgling accountant can be difficult and trying. Remember that the process is not too different from getting a job, and will prepare you well for that. These five tips should help exponentially when you go to apply for an accounting internship.