“Get good grades at the high school and enter a good university” is how you land a job. Or is it?
This one is better: “Get an internship to get a sick job”. But what is the best way to get an internship in the first place?
The internship is the first step on the way to the career in the company of your dream and it’s exactly the step that graduates stumble over way too often. According to employment rates of college graduates in 2016, the employment rate was 77% for the college degree holders and 88% for those who have a bachelor’s degree.
Statistically speaking, – only 5 out of 10 US graduates get an internship that they want. On average the person works 60 or 70 hours a week to get into the top-tier company internship. You might have just excellent GPA, you might have done extracurricular activities, but on paper, you look just like everyone else. The best way to get an internship of your dream is to be a little bit different from other applicants.
The labor market for interns has been through some transformations lately, let’s find out what new trends are here and how you can use them in order to find the internship that will be good for your career.
The places to look for to get internship
The odds are high that exactly your college or university is the best way to get an internship.
First of all, every educational institution has a career services office, these are the first places for asking, many companies are looking for the best students in the colleges and universities instead of venturing to job sites. The college holds a certain degree of responsibility for both sides so, as a rule, students and the companies benefit from such collaborations.
The second option for independent searchers is newspapers or sites that regularly publish internship programs, they give you more freedom to select what you like.
The networking and attending the career fairs are the ways that can help you not only to find an internship but also meet people who will benefit your future career. Meet your faculty members, find out about your friends and their professional connections.
Contact the employers directly, even if the company doesn’t have a position opened there’s still a chance to be the first when it does.
How to let them notice you
- Narrow the path. When you make your career path definite and clear enough, it demonstrates the employer that you really have a passion and interest in the particular sphere. The vague explanations in applications repel employers so your CV might even not pass through HR barrier. Specialists insist if the internship applicants already know the position they want to obtain in the future it gives the employer the reason to accept and invite them in the company.
- Be innovative and creative. Old companies are being conquered by the young companies. These old companies need innovations in order to stay competitive, and the innovations demand creative employees. This doesn’t mean you have to make your CV fancy or apply a certain design to your cover letter. If you have some projects, research or achievements that you are proud of, don’t forget to mention them in the self-presentation.
- Know the products they produce. Browsing through the site and learning some occasional facts about the company is not enough. If you plan to enter the realities of big corporation make sure you add some extra points to your candidacy. If you browse through some YouTube videos where bloggers tell how they won the internships in big companies, you will find out the interviewers actually ask the questions like “What our products do you know?” and “What our products do you use and why”?
- Get the internship before the internship. The internships in some large and renown companies are highly competitive, the demand for them is high and the competition is tough. In such case, the candidates that already feature some kind of relevant internship or work experience in their application documents will have higher chances of acceptance.
- Double prepare for the interviews. If you are called on the first interview it means you just at the beginning of the path, you just passed the phase when your CV was better than 80% of others, so the rest 20% will be determined by your verbal skills and the way you prepared.
You might have heard of the situations when job applicants are asked strange questions like: “How many piano tuners are there in the entire world?” Or “How much should you charge to wash all the windows in Seattle?”. These Google-level questions are rare but the reason behind asking them is not your definitive answer. These are asked by the companies that value creativity in employees, they want to see your thought flow and make sure you have the confidence to face stressful situations without fear.
In case your target is a middle-level company the questions might be pretty standard but still, if you make a little research and find out how to answer them right your chances to get accepted will grow.
To wrap it up
Finding an internship is as hard as finding a job, partially because it will signify and in many cases determine your future career. The most important step is to find out what you want from your future career and select the internship according to your wishes and capabilities. In order to find a good internship, you need to focus on your main passions, explain what you are good at, and find out what you are excellent at.
If you can manage to show it all to the potential employer, that internship is a half in your pocket.