It’s no secret that the job market is very competitive, especially for recent graduates. One of the best ways to get your foot in the door early is by applying for an internship during your studies. Internships are a great opportunity to start gaining real work experience to add to your resume.
This is important as employers want to see that applicants have the experience and skills required to take on the job role. As the search for an internship can seem overwhelming, we’ve rounded up a few key tips to keep in mind before you start applying.
Some Solid Networking:
Essentially, this is all about putting yourself out there and letting it be known that you're in search for an internship. Specifying what sort of internship you're looking for is always great but if you don’t know what exactly you want to do, then keep your mind open for anything that might come along. Cultivate this habit of asking people you know, which can be a professor to a cousin, about any available vacancies in their respective workplace or any other vacancy they may know of. Networking truly is one of the most amazing ways of navigating through the job market! So don't hesitate to ask, it's similar to how you would ask a friend for a Netflix show recommendation.
Understandably, stepping up and talking in a group of people, whether online or offline, can be tougher for my fellow introverts but, good news! Any habit can be developed with practice! So step by step, one day at a time, increase your interactions. With patience and while remaining kind to yourself, just keep working on contacting people that you think can help link you to your potential future internship!
There are countless public groups on social media platforms like Facebook and Linkedin that you can make use of. These could consist of recruiters and other like-minded individuals that could provide information about potential opportunities. If you come across an internship yourself, spread the word and let’s all help each other out!
Keep your CV updated and well-tuned:
Applying for internships doesn't have to be a stressful activity, it's a new chapter you're walking towards, go for it with a positive mindset!
Your CV gives a glimpse of who you are as a professional to the recruiter, so make sure that it conveys everything you need it to. If you have no experience that is related to the internship you are applying for, add in your achievements from school/university to showcase the fact that you are an eccentric candidate that can work hard.
Using keywords that are related to the job industry you are interested in an important step to take to make sure that your CV stands out among the others. A recruiter spends an average amount of 6 seconds on each CV that they come across, so don’t forget to tailor your CV according to the job requirements mentioned. For example, if you are applying for a marketing position, here are some things you can keep in mind https://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2018/03/02/how-to-optimize-a-marketing-resume
If you are a creative student that is interested in pursuing a career in graphic design, photography or any other form of art, then make sure to have an online portfolio set up. Internships or job opportunities in this field cannot progress any further in the application process without one. The most popular site at the moment is Behance, so have your work uploaded on there and design your page the way you want to. You can then specify this in your CV and attach an embedded link that takes the recruiter to your page.
When designing your CV, you can make use of platforms like Canva or even Powerpoint! Take a look at this video to know more about how to do so https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqvbQX_P-bk
Your Linkedin profile:
We now live in a completely digital age which makes avid use of social media platforms to spread the word and make ourselves known. When it comes to your career, having an updated Linkedin profile is crucial. Put up a professional-looking picture of yourself and update your “Headline” using keywords that are related to your job industry of interest. Your headline should convey what you can offer and who you are as a person in 5-6 words. Putting “Looking for opportunities” or “Currently unemployed” won’t pan out well.
Choose skills that are relevant to the job opportunities you want to attain. You can do this by taking a look at the “Job requirements” section of internships postings made by companies all around the world.
Once you have completely updated your profile, engage with other like-minded individuals on the platform to bring up your overall Linkedin score. The more you set up a presence for yourself, the higher you will rank up in a recruiter’s Linkedin searches.
Ace your interviews:
Did you finally bag that interview? Okay take a deep breath and pat yourself!
Make sure that you go over who the company is before your interview starts. Understanding what their values and aspirations are, is necessary to be able to connect with the person that is interviewing you. When asked to introduce yourself, showcase skills of yours that go in line with those values and most importantly BE CONFIDENT! YOU GOT THIS!
If you are asked a question that you don’t have an immediate answer to, take a few seconds to think over it and process it in your head. Ask relevant questions as well to show that you are interested in the opportunity.
GET RID OF THE WHITE SPACE:
There is a countless number of reputed FREE online courses out there that will not just increase your knowledge of the subject but also make you stand out from the others. Get your google certifications first off and then move on to other courses that interest you from Coursera, Udemy and more. Mention them in your CV and describe the key concepts you learnt in them as this will help you out if you don't have much relevant experience.
Last but definitely not the least, Consider the fact that accumulating a good amount of experience is essential during the starting stages of your career. If the company is not providing you with a stipend but provides valuable experience, take it. This will help make your CV more impressive, for future job opportunities.