Internships are important because schools don’t equip you with professional experience. If you do not have professional experience, you need to brush up on your skills to make the employers want to hire you. After that, you need to look for internships that best compliment your degree, draft a good enough application, and prepare for the interview.
#1 Look for internship Vacancies:
- Look on Job Sites:
The job sites also include openings for internships. The popular job sites are, indeed, Glassdoor, LinkedIn, Linkup, Scouted, etc. You can type ‘internship’ in the search bar and can include any specific keywords like finance, computer science, etc. to make sure you get the filtered results. A lot of sites have an option for filters as well. You can specify your geographic location and stipend expectations as well.
- Look on internship-exclusive Websites:
Some job websites only have openings for internships and entry-level jobs. You can search for internships on these websites as well. Some of them are; internships.com, Internmatch, YouTern, etc.
- Go to Career/Job Fairs:
Some colleges and universities hold career fairs. These career/job fairs are also held by the companies to hire fresh talent. These are great places to find internships and to build connections. You can talk to recruiters, ask questions from them, and get to know the people who are in the field.
Be sure to take them seriously. If you are talking to a recruiter, think of it as a job interview. Dress appropriately, prepare a resume and be confident. You can ask recruiters about the internship requirements, the job potential of the internship, and about the culture of the company.
- Seek Help from Your Teachers:
Some companies do not announce their internship openings through traditional mediums. Instead, they work around on word-of-mouth. Your teachers and professors may know about such opportunities. So it is also a good option to ask the teachers about potential internship or assistantship opportunities.
#2 Application Submissions for Internship Placements:
- Prepare a Résumé:
A résumé is needed even if you have zero professional experience. It helps the recruiters understand your qualifications, interests, and skills. You can compensate for your professional experience in a lot of ways.
- Add any volunteer work you have done or any extra-curricular activities that you have taken part in. Include any courses you have done and your CGPA as well.
- Be thorough in describing your job description. Don’t just say that you have been a finance internee. Tell them about your duties as an internee as well. Like, handling the paperwork, making invoices, sending emails, drafting loan applications, etc.
- Be clear, i.e. add information in bullet points so that the reader can understand it in a glance. If you do not have relevant information to add don’t try to fill up the résumé by adding unnecessary details. Conciseness, clarity, and honesty go a long way.
- Get a second opinion about your resume from your teacher or any other professional person.
- Collect References:
Some employers wish to confirm the information given in the résumé. They may contact your teachers or your previous employers. Talk to them beforehand so that they can be prepared for such confirmation. Your potential employer can also ask them about your attitude in class or office. So be prepared for that too.
Add a minimum of three and a maximum of five references. Tell your referees to highlight your best qualities.
- Make a Portfolio:
For some jobs, a portfolio can help you land an internship. Actions always speak louder than words, especially in fields like writing, arts, fashion, programming, event organizing, and entertainment.
Be sure to add a little description with your samples to help understand the purpose of it and what it is about. Keep it short for internships. Keep switching the samples for different jobs because one portfolio may not be appropriate for every place you are applying to.
For making portfolios, you can get help from Portfolio Gen, eFolio, and Carbonmade.
- Draft a Cover Letter:
Cover letters are a great way to add a personal touch to internship applications. You can discuss your background and your interests in detail. Tell them why you think they should hire you and how working with a particular organization can shape your career.
Do not repeat the things you already added in your résumé. Make sure to talk about things that require explanation. Craft a different cover letter for every internship application. Employers are able to tell when you are copying and pasting.
#3 How to appear in an Interview for Internship
- Dress up Properly:
First impressions last. Try to look as professional as possible. It makes the interviewer think that you are serious about getting hired. Take a shower and brush your hair properly. Be sure to launder and iron your clothes. Wear a suit. If you do not own a suit, wear a dress shirt and pants.
Women should wear pantsuits or professional-looking skirts. Any tattoos or attention-grabbing piercings should be concealed.
- Be Confident:
Employers are impressed by those potential employees who are put together, self-aware, and confident. So you need to make sure that you look confident. Maintain eye contact with the interviewer. Practice answering potential questions the night before in front of the mirror.
- Remain prepared for the Questions:
Some questions are very generic and likely to be asked in an interview. Like what are your strengths and weaknesses? Describe a time when you dealt with a crisis at work. Where do you see yourself in five years? Prepare the answers to these questions beforehand. But do not give an answer that sounds overly-thought out as the interviewer will detect it and will mark you negatively for it. These questions are meant to see how you respond to your feet.
- Emphasize upon Your value:
Keep a ‘you attitude’. Instead of telling the employer how nice it would be for your career to do an internship with their organization, emphasize how the organization can benefit by hiring you. Make the employer think that giving you an internship can only make the organization thrive.
- Don’t hesitate to ask questions:
If the interviewer allows you to ask questions, ask away. It shows that you are genuinely interested in working with them and that you are attentive. If you can’t think of anything, ask questions like, what is a typical day in the office like? Or, when can you expect to hear back from them?
Send a follow-up email after two or three days expressing your gratefulness to the interviewer for taking time out. Mention your passion for working with them. Offer to answer further questions if they have any. Tell them that you are looking forward to their reply.
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