What? Winning an Internship Is Easier When You Have an Internship

David A. Jaeger, Alan Seals, John M. Nunley

When summer approaches, many college students (and their parents) wonder how they can land the perfect internship. But what kind of résumé really impresses firms looking for interns? And how are the internships connected to the broader job market?

We are researchers who specialize in issues of labor economics and employment, particularly for interns and recent college graduates.

In a recent study we did on the demand for interns, we found that employers were more likely to contact applicants who had a prior internship. In other words, it often takes an internship to get an internship.

We also found that there is a close relationship between the market for interns and the local unemployment rate. Labor markets with higher unemployment rates are less likely to have paid internships. And applicants are less likely to be contacted when the unemployment rate is higher. As other research has shown, we found that applicants with white-sounding names got a higher response than those with black-sounding names.

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