If you’re a student searching for opportunities to gain internship experience, you’re definitely not alone. Millions of students every year are looking for the same opportunity, which means you’re going to have competitions along the way. Thus, you’re probably concerned about how you’re going to stand out among the rest of the applicants.
Before knowing the answer to that, you might first want to learn about the importance of an internship and why you need to prepare for it.
Why Internships Are Important ?
An internship may not be like a real job, but it’s closely similar to it. In an internship, a company would allow you to have hands-on experience on how a particular job is done but with supervision.
Internship is vital, especially if you’re a graduating student, as it could help you develop your professional skills, strengthen your work character, enhance your verbal and written communication skills, teach you about time management, and, of course, provide you greater opportunities in the future. Most hiring managers would prefer to hire fresh graduates with internship experience. By investing in internship opportunities, you’re giving yourself leverage once you apply for a real job after you graduate.
However, getting an internship is not always easy, especially with the tight competition around you. To get hired for an internship, you need to know how to make yourself stand out and easily recognizable among the rest. While this may sound impossible at first, it’s doable with the tips that will be discussed below. These simple yet effective tactics would somehow give you a head start and help you impress your interviewer.
1. Make Sure Your Resume Is Presentable
Your first and most basic tool when applying for an internship is your resume. Unfortunately, some student applicants don’t take their resumes seriously because of the thought they have nothing much to put in their resumes. They just leave it all up to luck and chance. But the truth is, even if you have little to no experience to put in your resume, its presentation may have a significant impact on your chances of getting hired.
For this reason, make sure you take your time to review your resume carefully by checking for any typos, punctuation errors, grammar blunders, and spelling mistakes. Don’t rely on artificial intelligence tools and default spell checkers as they sometimes fail to catch even the most obvious errors. It’s recommended you let someone else proofread your resume. Sometimes it’s hard to spot your own errors, so it’s better to ask for a second opinion from others. Ask them to search for any mistakes in grammar and sentence structure.
Another important consideration is the way you organize your information in your resume. You can refer to career websites like Hire Scholars and similar sites to know what you can include despite having no experience.
2. Show Off All Your Relevant Experiences
One of the challenges you might need to face as an internship applicant is your lack of relevant experience in the work field. However, your experience doesn’t always have to be from a traditional work experience.
For instance, if your degree is in communication and you want to get accepted as an intern for a local media outlet, you don’t need to have experience with any media position in the past. You may cite other relevant experiences like being an editor in your university or being a freelance blogger and writer. They may not be job experiences, but they can show you have tangible skills that could make you suitable for the internship role.
Try to make each relevant experience count. If you want to pursue big dreams and achieve your career goals, be confident with your minor but relevant experiences and don’t hesitate to show them off in your resume.
3. Apply Early
Don’t wait until it’s summer before you start your search for internship opportunities. One of the reasons some students find it hard to look for an internship is because they started their search way too late. So by the time they finally think of getting an internship around summertime, it’s already too late. Too many competitions are surfacing, and the dates for application may already be past the deadline.
While it’s true more internship opportunities are opened during the summer, probably the best time to start your search and application submission is around the fall of last year. This length of time would give you more opportunity to polish and tailor your resume, personalize your cover letter, and be on the hunt for internship opportunities without worrying about too many competitions.
4. Come Prepared For The Interview
Interviews could be overwhelming, especially if you’ve never been on one before. But just like real jobs, internship applications generally conduct interviews. This is how employers assess if a particular student deserves the internship spot out of all the applicants. This would also help determine if the student has the potential to work as one of their official employees in the future after graduating from college. In simple terms, an internship opportunity could also be your gateway toward having a secured job position in the future after you graduate.
Thus, it’s important you take your internship interviews seriously. Once you’ve received an invitation for an interview from one of your submitted applications, it may be a good idea to do a mock interview. Your performance in an interview could make or break your chances of getting that internship. So try to indulge yourself with numerous mock interviews to reduce nervousness, familiarize yourself with the common interview questions, and improve your mannerisms during interviews.
You may also familiarize yourself with the company’s visions, services, and background. When you’re familiar with the company you’re applying to, you can show off to your employer how much you’re eager and interested in getting that internship position.
5. Dress Accordingly
Aside from nailing the interview, the way you dress up could also help you stand out among the applicants. Some intern applicants don’t pay much attention to wearing a formal or corporate attire, perhaps thinking it’s only an internship opening. Others would show up in formal attire, but sometimes it’s stained, wrinkled, or rumpled.
Whether it’s the first time you’d have to dress up in professional attire or not, it’s essential you plan what to wear ahead of the interview. This way you’d have more time to wash and iron it and to make sure you put together clothes that only fit your target company. It’s ideal if you wear your interview attire during one of your mock interviews so you could familiarize your body with it and see if you need any sartorial improvements.
It’s better to be overdressed than be underdressed for an interview. Your interview attire would show the company you’re applying to how much you want the internship.
The Bottom Line
If you want to secure your career opportunities in the future and elevate your work experience, you’d need to grab some internship opportunities. Internships could offer you real work experience that you might never experience in a classroom. Obtaining an internship may seem complicated and frustrating, considering competitions will always be there. But with these simple yet effective strategies, you could stand out and pursue that job that you’re passionate about. You might just be a step closer to your ultimate dream job.