The Best Student Internship Platform

If you've spent any amount of time searching for internships, you know it’s not easy to find the perfect one for your career. The best internship platforms do a lot of the heavy lifting for you, allowing you to narrow down your search to the opportunities that are right for you. We tested out six of the top platforms around and graded each of them on four criteria: search functionality, number of internship postings, additional tools, and educational resources.

The 3 Best Student Internship Platforms

Largest Selection of Internships
Indeed
Indeed
Not only did Indeed consistently have the highest number of internship postings in our tests, it also offered the best search tools for homing in on the perfect ones.
Pros
High number of internships
Detailed search function
Helpful tools
Cons
Minimal educational resources

Why we chose it

High number of internships

Indeed had the highest number of internship postings of any platform we tested. And that makes sense — it’s the largest job-search platform out there, so it stands to reason that it also has the largest selection of internships. It had the highest number of total internships in the country, as well as in the nine key cities we focused on.

Detailed search function

Indeed had a couple of search functions that really caught our eye and elevated the search function as a whole. The first, and perhaps the most unique, was the option to filter out results from staffing agencies. The second was the ability to filter internship searches by when they were posted; if you only want to see anything posted in the past couple days, Indeed makes it very easy to do so.

Helpful tools

While Indeed has great search functionality and the most internship postings we saw, it also has many supplemental tools that make life easier for internship-seekers. Resume uploading, saved searches, and custom notifications are all included, but what really stood out to us was its resume-building tool. A lot of students applying to internships may not have a resume, and Indeed’s tool takes the guesswork out of the process.

Points to consider

Minimal educational resources

This platform does a great job of allowing you to search for internships, but it has basically zero educational materials. It sits squarely in the "ultra-functional, no-frills" category. It does have some blog posts focused on career advice, but nothing targeted specifically at those seeking internships. Of all the platforms we tested, Indeed ranked dead last in this metric.

Best for Researching Companies
Glassdoor
Glassdoor
A close runner-up to Indeed, with a wealth of information and reviews on prospective companies.
Pros
Company profiles
Large number of search results
Educational blog posts
Cons
Subpar search functionality

Why we chose it

Company profiles

Not only is Glassdoor a quality second choice overall, its company profiles set it apart from the competition and makes it a great resource for internship-seekers. These in-depth profiles include former and current employee reviews, overall ratings, general information about the employer, and occasionally even pictures of the workplace environment. Whether or not you use this as your primary internship platform, it's definitely a valuable resource when researching the company offering you an internship.

Large number of search results

Glassdoor scored very well in our availability metric, coming just 4,000 internship listings short of Indeed across the US. For context, that’s still about 10,000 more than our third pick, Internships.com, which came in fourth place for internship availability in our tests. Glassdoor also came in second place for number of internships in the nine major cities in our tests.

Educational blog posts

After Internships.com, we thought Glassdoor offered the best resources for future interns of any platform in our tests. It has dozens of blog posts targeted specifically towards interns, with practical articles like “9 Interview Questions All Interns Should Be Prepared to Answer” and “10 Steps to Transform Your Summer Internship Into a Full-Time Gig.” These educational resources can help you get the most out of your internship opportunity or help you along the way to obtaining one.

Points to consider

Subpar search functionality

Glassdoor’s weakest performance was in Search Functionality. It lacked a few helpful filters, such as one for paid and unpaid internships. This is one of the most valuable features for students hoping to use an internship as a true summer job, and its omission caused Glassdoor to score poorly in our "Search Filtering" sub-metric. It still tied for third place in our search functionality tests with Internships.com, but it was well behind our top pick, Indeed.

Best Educational Materials
Internships.com
Internships.com
Slightly lacking in number of search results and company profiles, but a fantastic resource for resume building and internship advice.
Pros
Excellent educational materials
Useful tools
Cons
Limited internship listings
No company descriptions

Why we chose it

Excellent educational materials

If you’re looking for additional guidance on what kind of internship to look for, how to build a strong resume, or how to nail an interview, Internships.com is an incredibly valuable resource. This platform is designed with students in mind, so it has a ton of educational material for prospective interns. One example that we didn’t see anywhere else is its "internship predictor tool," which is a basic personality test that gives you insights into which kind of internships might be a good fit for you.

Useful tools

After Glassdoor, Internships.com offered some of the best tools of any site we tested. Most notably, it has 21 different resume samples from different fields, which you can download and customize with your own work experience. It also allows you to save your searches on the site and come back to them later. Because our tests often included upwards of five different search criteria, it was a huge timesaver to have them automatically entered for us.

Points to consider

Limited internship listings

Internships.com's biggest drawback is its smaller number of internship listings. It had the fourth most internships in our tests, with about 14,000 fewer than Indeed. That said, it does counter some of this with more distinct listings than similar competitors. While Looksharp had a few more internships overall, for instance, Internships.com surpassed it in our Internship Availability metric because of more unique postings — Looksharp just imports most of their listings from Indeed.

No company descriptions

While Internships.com came in a respectable third for Search Functionality, the biggest thing we missed was a section for company profiles. The site has thorough descriptions of roles and application instructions, but nothing on the actual company we’d be interning with. It wasn’t a big deal to head over to Glassdoor to find this information, but we would have liked something on the Internships.com page that could tell us more about the company.

Guide to Student Internship Platforms

How to land a great internship

Start early

According to a study conducted by NACE, employers begin the recruiting process for interns eight months before the internship start date. That means the earlier that you start applying, the better chance you have at landing a great internship. For summer internships, it’s not a bad idea to start your search in the previous year’s fall.

Identify potential internships

While this process should include an internship platform, there are other tools you can utilize as well. Use your network to track down leads. Consider checking in with friends, connections, and your school's career services center. Many employers contact schools to ask if they can recommend students for potential internships, so getting on your career counselor's radar could lead to a quality internship.

Fine-tune (or create) your resume

If this is your first time building a resume, or if you haven’t touched it up in a while, start with a template. You can then tweak it to reflect the experience and qualities that an employer in your chosen field will be looking for. At this stage, you should also find three or four quality references that you’d feel comfortable using on your applications. Remember to ask permission and inform your references that you are listing them. If you don't have enough references from previous employment, non-profit experience or professors are also good options.

Censor your social media

This is a bigger deal than you might think. According to an article in Time, 93% of hiring managers will use social media to screen a potential hire, and 55% of the time they reconsider a candidate based on what they find. They tend to look for things like references to illegal drugs, sexual posts, guns, and alcohol. Think about how you want potential employers to view you, and then make sure your social media accounts reflect that image.

Apply

When the time comes to apply, make sure you’re sending in applications to all of your top choices, not just your favorite. There’s a good chance you’ll submit multiple applications in the same sitting, so pay attention to the details. It's easy to get job titles and company names confused when you start copying and pasting between applications, and a careless mistake like that will generally take you out of the running for the position.

Follow up

First, check any correspondence you've had with the company to see if they gave you a date when you could expect to hear back. If a date was given, make sure you wait until after that date to follow up. Remember, your objective is not to secure the internship, but to get an interview. Send a short email reiterating your interest in a specific posting, and make sure to attach another copy of your resume and cover letter for easy reference.

Prepare for the interview

Securing an interview is the hardest part of the process, so you’ll want to be as prepared as possible. Glassdoor is a great resource for potential interview questions, but you should also prepare your own list. Ask about specific job duties, working environment, and who you’ll be reporting to. Remember, you aren't just trying to land the internship, you’re also interviewing the company to determine whether this opportunity is right for you.

Student Internship Platform FAQs

What should I look for in an internship?

While the perfect internship will be different for everyone, we’ve pulled a few key factors that you should consider:

  • Paid internships: Paid internships — whether you receive college credit or an actual paycheck — tend to include more responsibilities directly related to the field. As such, the hiring rate is substantially higher than the rate for unpaid interns.
  • A recognizable company: Interning for a company with a strong reputation in its industry can help you land a position down the road because it makes your resume stand out. A hiring manager is much more likely to notice an application that lists Microsoft experience than experience at Joe’s Computer Lab.
  • Job responsibilities relating to your major: Of course, any internship helps boost your resume, but the more relevant to your major, the better. Resume building shouldn’t be your only objective — learning and developing new skills is also extremely valuable, and it can help you decide if your current career path is right for you.
What are common internship scams?

Unfortunately, internship scams are a legitimate concern. Job (and internship) seekers are increasingly more desperate due to the competitive nature of the job market, which makes them susceptible to scams. While internship platforms do their best to filter out scams, scammers do utilize these platforms to snare unsuspecting students. These are a few common scams:

  • Pay upfront scams: These scams will try to convince you to pay them upfront for the internship opportunity. The scammer usually tries to get you to overlook the abnormality of the practice by appealing to your understandable desire to make a larger sum of money than you thought possible.
  • Deferred-payment scams: These scams attempt to con you into working for free. The idea is that you will be willing to work for an extended period of time without seeing a paycheck due to the fact that they promise to “pay you extra for your trouble.”
  • Cheap-labor scams: These are characterized by employers that misrepresent your job duties or likely compensation. Pay careful attention to sales or labor “internships” that are really just low-paying jobs.
How do you know if an internship is legit?

The most important rule to follow is that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is — especially when it comes to compensation. Pay close attention to the following list of danger signs so you can know when to be concerned:

  • An offer you didn’t seek out is sent to your personal email address
  • Any sort of fee is requested upfront
  • There’s an offer or promise of employment made before a legitimate interview
  • The employer’s place of business is at a residential address
  • The compensation is unrealistically high
  • The employer is “out of the country” and wants to hire you sight-unseen
  • You can’t find verifiable information about the company online
  • The contact is overly eager to “close the deal,” or they pressure you to take the internship on the spot

The Best Student Internship Platform: Summed Up

Indeed
Glassdoor
Internships.com
Best For
Largest Selection of Internships
Researching Companies
Educational Materials
Availability Score
10.0
8.7
6.0
Resume Builder
X
Resume Uploading
X
Internship Blog
X