Tips to Find Your First Internship
Today’s graduates face the most difficult job market in decades. Over the next few years, students leaving university will likely confront increased competition and a limited number of graduate options.
It’s critical that you start thinking about ways to set yourself apart right now if you want to promote yourself to recruiters. Work experience is, of course, one method.
Internships on your CV before graduating from university show prospective employers that you have worked in an office setting, are dedicated to your career and have some knowledge of the field you want to work in.
Unfortunately, students with no prior work experience and only a hazy idea of what they want to accomplish typically struggle to find those initial internships… Continue reading for some straightforward advice on how to get beyond that first internship stumbling block.
1. Perfect your CV
It’s always a catch-22 when it comes to writing your first CV: you need one to apply for internships and employment, yet you don’t have much to put. You don’t, or at least you don’t think you do. In reality, you most likely have a lot to say. Consider your own interests and extracurricular activities, volunteer work and part-time work, as well as all of the skills and knowledge you’ve gained during your studies. What abilities do you possess that an employer could benefit from? This might be everything from planning and research to developing a social media community or using Photoshop. Rather than structuring your CV by job title, identify your major abilities and then provide specific examples of how you’ve acquired and applied each one.
2. Make use of your university’s careers service
The career centre at your university is more than just a location to talk about different career options; it’s also a means to connect with a huge network of professionals and businesses. Inquire about the alumni network and how you may utilise it, as well as any mentoring or placement programmes. Attend networking events hosted by your university, or reach out to alumni with intriguing job titles on your own — Developing these contacts will enable you to learn more about different industries and hear about fresh job opportunities.
3. Send speculative applications
Make a list of companies with which you’d like to intern and send out some speculative emails. Don’t forget to include your CV and a brief unique cover letter describing why you’d like to complete work experience with them, as well as inquire about any open positions. Keep a spreadsheet with the names of all the companies you’ve emailed, as well as the date of your email and any responses, bearing in mind that you’re unlikely to hear back from most of them. You’ll probably hear back from approximately five out of every fifty emails you send. Don’t be discouraged by this! The process necessitates perseverance.
4. Check out job listing websites
Find internships by searching job listing websites and filtering by industry and role. However, don’t rely solely on this method. Considering that many internships are not advertised online and are filled through word of mouth, it’s vital to employ a variety of tactics to increase your chances of landing a decent internship.
5. Try volunteering
You might also volunteer with an organisation (political, charitable, or special interest group) that you love and find inspiring while looking for your first internship. This is a fantastic way to get experience, develop skills related to your target career, and expand your professional network.