Getting into a university or college means you will have to go through an internship to fulfil your academic credits. This phase is crucial as it is a ticket for you to get an idea of what real working life looks like.
Educational learning in classes is different compared to acquiring knowledge and skills as an intern at a working place. Being an intern is the closest experience you can get to your first ever job experience, allowing you to polish the skills that you already have to build for your future career.
Those who graduated with internship experience tend to have a smoother journey in securing a job. Remember, the job market is always competitive, therefore it is important to let yourself shine through an internship experience.
Getting an internship placement is not as easy as it sounds. Although internships are meant for freshies and you don’t need the experience, you still have to show your worth to your respective employer. Here are five tips to secure your first internship easily:
1. Write a good resume
A resume always plays the ‘first impression’ role you give to the employer. Providing a bad resume will lower your chance of being selected or even shortlisted, which is the last thing you would want.
Besides listing down all your hard and soft skills and achievements, the best way to prepare a convincing resume with no prior working experience is to get involved in curriculum activities. This includes joining societies or clubs that are related to your major.
For example, if you are taking English Literature, you might want to get involved in a writing club as it will likely increase your opportunity to be a content writer intern. With your involvement listed in the resume, the company will want to prioritise for application.
Having a good CGPA is also another way of making your resume attractive and it can certainly guarantee you better opportunities. However, we don’t mean that having a low CGPA doesn’t serve as a predictor of success. If you have more merits to show on your resume, you can overtake what is seen as your lower point.
2. Study the background of the company
The rule of thumb is to never blindly apply for an internship at different companies without doing any research first. If you do so, you probably won’t understand what the company would want to expect from you as an intern.
The importance of researching the employer’s background is to ensure that you’re applying for the right company. You should apply to a company that specifically offers internship placement that is in line with the course you’re taking. Most companies prefer to hire interns who know well about the industry they apply for. Therefore, if you present yourself with great knowledge, especially during the interview, you will likely be selected.
3. Practice for the interview
After sending out your resume, the next step is to expect the employer to contact you and schedule an interview. This is where you can prove yourself as a good intern candidate by showing confidence and being presentable.
Preparing for an internship interview is as nerve-wracking as preparing for a real job interview. It’s basically the same but the only difference is the role that you’re applying for and that you will not be expected to have any professional working experience.
During the interview, the interviewer wants to get to know you better, your background, skills and involvement in the university. Most importantly, they want to know why you’re interested in this internship. A good interview will end with a good result, hence, an employer will hire someone who can give outstanding interview performance with confidence.
4. Be ready to learn new things
As an intern, it is important to be enthusiastic and open to learning new skills. You can take the chance to show your eagerness to work by asking more questions and being more involved in projects or assignments.
But what if you get asked to do something that is not related or irrelevant to your role? First, understand your objectives as an intern and verify if the tasks you need to do are somewhat still linked to the goals that you want to achieve. If they’re not, you can voice out your concern and do an amendable discussion with your supervisor in a respectful and professional manner.
This attitude will show that you are serious about being part of the company. You need to take the courage to project your worry, curiosity and enthusiasm because as an intern, you will get a lot out of what you’re doing and this can directly open you to bigger opportunities.
5. Consult with your university’s career services
Most universities will have a career centre that provides a team to guide your future career prospects. If you want to have wider opportunities, it’s best to get in touch with your university’s career service to help you understand your career needs including internship.
Some activities you might get into through this service is doing some career assessments, attending workshops, events and even having career counselling sessions to find the direction that you want in your career.
Your university career service is also the best place to refer to when you want to find out about internship opportunities, be it local or abroad. In case you didn’t know, some companies actually go through this office to look for interns by sharing internship programs. You might get a referral opportunity easily and be the first one to hear about the openings.
An internship is like a baby step for the students to experience a job field of their choice. There is no experience required, but to score an internship placement requires some secrets or tricks as we listed above.
We might have more unshared secrets to share if you want to get your dream internship through our series of webinars. If you’re interested to join, feel free to get in touch with us at Xremo and we’ll be more than happy to assist!