Today, employers rely heavily on resumes that illustrate a relevant work history whether it has been gained from a volunteer program, internship or job. Since the paradigm shift took place where people with real-world experience were more in demand than those who just got straight As the youth is now looking towards opportunities to learn at a very early stage. There’s cut-throat competition and everyone is trying to covet a good job, making it significant to have an edge over each other.
Practical work experience holds great importance when it comes to getting a job and entering the market.
Corporate houses to small size enterprises and freelancers, all offer internships to students giving them an opportunity to learn and work with them. Aside from the pay at some places and credits for college, internships also provide youngsters with a chance to explore and experiment with different career choices so that they can take up a career in a field they’re interested in.
The work experience helps them make better career choices. It teaches them skills they’ll need when they’ll begin their career as a professional. Not only this but internships are an avenue where these young minds can build a network of professionals who can mentor them or help them get ahead.
An internship is a stepping stone and is a competent way to build one’s resume and get a head start on one’s career. This is the reason that not just college students and those fresh out of college take up these internships, but also school students or those fresh out of school helping them build a base early on.
The following list highlights the most compelling reasons why you should look for an internship this summer:
- First-hand exposure of working in the real world.
- Harness the skill, knowledge and theoretical practice learned in class
- Self-discovery and personal development
- Build your professional network
- Boosts your resume
- Transition into a full-time position
- Opportunity to separate from the pack
- Learn from peers and mentors
- Learn new skills
- Experiment with different career options
Some internships involve paying some don’t but that doesn’t imply that they offer any less of an experience. But, you need to choose an internship wisely based on assessment and part records and recommendations, and those which will suit your choice of career.
Here’s how you can find an internship that you’ll value:
Research and define your goals
Put some thought into your search and utilize the resources at your disposal. To begin the process of finding the right internship for you, keep in mind the fields you want to explore and the skills you’re looking to learn. Setting clear goals helps you narrow down your search to only relevant options. Figure out where your interest lies, the scope of that field, how it would help your career, where all can you find the right set of opportunities, and so on.
Just like all other things, you’ll find a lot of options and perhaps the final answer to your search on the internet. Get hooked up to the internet for a more useful reason. These are a few options where you have the best chances of finding the right people, organization, and internship for yourself:
- LinkedIn: not only is it a great tool for networking, but also an exceptional avenue where companies look for hiring talent, nowadays.
- Craigslist: a lot of companies look towards this option to hire interns. This platform gives you access to a number of internships.
- internships.com: this option is for those who wish to find an internship remotely.
- wayup.com: it is a platform with a huge number of internship and job postings every day.
The world of internet is vast and full of ample opportunities, so go ahead and explore.
Leverage your network
Get creative in your research for an internship. Reach out to your family and friends, and their family and friends. Someone might be working in a field or an organization relevant to yours, this can be your golden opportunity. Having an acquaintance can help you a great deal in building your network, increase your chances of getting the internship, mentoring, etc.
College career centre
Being still in college is an advantage when it comes to researching for the right internship. Your college career centre already has a database of companies that offer what you’re looking for and can help you find the relevant ones. They can even train you for interviews, networking and assist with your resume preparation. Get the information regarding all the germane options and keep receiving updates from the career centre.
Be specific in your application
Recruiters do not have time to go through a long story of what why and who of anyone’s story. Therefore, be precise and mention exact details. There’s no need to beat around the bush in your application. If your goals are clear in your mind, your application must reflect that clarity. It’s significant to mention what you bring to the table. Let the recruiters know what you can do for them and how you’re enthusiastic to learn from them. Steer clear of unambiguous words.
Prepare for application and interview
Preparing well for your application and interview give you an upper hand over most candidates who do not prepare or do it half-heartedly. Do not limit yourself to a few interviews, rather give as many as you can. You’ll be working on your confidence and other interview skills, which will come handy for when you’ll be applying for a job. Your interview is a reflection of you, thus, work on that first impression.
Craft an impressive resume
A resume isn’t just a list of facts about you. In fact, it’s a manifestation of what you do best with pertinent evidence to validate it. Use keywords that the employer would be looking for. Avoid mentioning stories, instead mention the highlights of your academic career and where all you stood apart, where you used the skills germane to this internship. Your resume should be able to catch the hiring manager’s attention, ergo, make it a meaningful one.
Find appropriate referrals
It helps if you can get referrals that can validate your skills and achievements. The referrals must have appropriate credentials and people who know you and have borne witness to your work, these can be your teachers or any working professional at your previous internships or volunteer program, etc. Get them to send an email or two to the hiring manager, to put in a good word about you. If the person(s) hiring you are satisfied with what they get to know about you, it will impact your application immensely.
Getting work experience is sure to help you with your career. It is an investment that will definitely bring good returns. But, it is also crucial to find the right internship for yourself so that you learn the right set of skills, meet the right group of people and experts, and your enthusiasm doesn’t dip.
In addition to the field of study in your graduation, it is also advisable to experiment with other fields where your interest lies. At the end of the day, all the experience must add value to you and your career. Only that can make you appreciate the experience and value the internship you find.