If you’re reading this article, the chances are you are currently looking for an internship. As a person who’s been down that road before, I’ve saved some advice for you.
First and foremost, open your self up. Be curious and courageous when you start. Open your LinkedIn and see who you have in your circles. Ask your teachers if they know of any opportunities. Attend company dating events. Think through your competences and biggest achievements. I landed my very first internship in a company that I met during company dating and my hopes to actually find one were close to 0. It was scary and awkward to walk up to the managers and quite literally offer myself to them. What made it even more awkward, was that they had eliminated any chance of starting small talk with them because they all had nice and accurate banners stating exactly who they are and what they want from you. So be sure that you are well aware of your competences when you start that small talk. And for God’s sake, don’t be afraid to sell yourself like there’s no one better out there.
Stand out from the crowd and walk the extra mile. If you’re applying via e-mail, there are numerous ways of making yourself shine a little brighter than the rest of the applicants. Most students looking for internships are so exhausted and hopeless when they are looking for internships that they are just desperately emailing companies with their CV and motivation letter with the e-mail saying something like “I am the best, please take me!” Now, that’s a no-brainer that such approach is not going to impress anyone but your mom, maybe. It’s your responsibility to make sure that the person you’re e-mailing will want to open your e-mail. And when they open it, how will you make sure they will proceed through and even bother to open your CV? One of the coolest and eye-catching ways to stand out when sending the electronic application is to make a video resume. Video resume should be something like 1 to 2 minutes long presentation of your best qualities.
Being memorable face-to-face is an art that doesn’t take long to master (take it from me, I just got a really cool internship offer without even applying or offering myself). If you’re going on a company dating event, make yourself a business card with your photo, education and basic contact information. And once you’re approaching the company with it, be sure to shine brighter than a diamond and ask interesting questions that clearly show your interest and knowledge in the field. However, if you remember the first point I mentioned – to be opened – you can even land an internship when you’re least expecting it. For example, when you happen to meet a company executive and you’re not prepared to make that sales pitch, just ask an e-mail. Then, later you can send an e-mail with your awesome resume and since they have already met you, they are more willing to react to the e-mail.
Be spot-on. No one likes long and uninformative e-mails. No one has time for them. So stick to simplicity and only state the necessary information in the e-mail body: who you are, why are you contacting them and what can you bring to the table.
Prepare in before-hand and get that voluntary experience. We all know that being in your early 20s and trying to impress someone with your experience is not easy task to do, but it is not impossible. The only question is – are you willing to put the effort into it? If the answer is yes, then please proceed and give yourself a pat on the back. Without any work experience, make your CV look more interesting with voluntary work. Help the school to organize events, join AIESEC, organize an event from start to finish on your own, start a student organization at school, take online courses or even write a blog – there are so many opportunities out there to show your interest in the field and also get the experience. Take the time and just do it – you have nothing to lose!
So, what will you do? Let us know and drop a comment below! 🙂