An internship can provide you with real-life experiences and teach you the skills you need to give yourself an edge in the job market. However, it can a little confusing when you start to look for that dream position. Where can you look? How can you write the perfect CV for guaranteed callbacks? Applying for an internship is a big step in your career.
It’s also important to remember that if you’re looking for an internship it doesn’t have to be a summer one. It’s pretty common nowadays for internships to be available all year round. Companies are always looking for exciting new talent and ways to innovate in the workplace.
Here are a few tips from Planet Expat on how to conquer your next internship search!
Identify your motivations
Before you start to look for an internship you should know what it is that you are interested in doing. What will this experience contribute to your career goals and future job options? Which job position can you see yourself enjoying in the future? What type of internship you are looking for? You might like to gain experience in a startup company where innovation is key. Or maybe you’d like to gain experience in a larger company, and see how the system works.
Another thing to think about is the localization of your internship, maybe you’d like to go abroad?
Answering all of these questions will help you identify exactly what it is that interests you. Instead of blindly applying to positions, you will be gunning for internships that are sure to add value to not only your resume but to your future in the workforce.
Internship Placement Providers
Looking for an internship can be difficult in this day and age. The market is highly competitive and many companies receive hundreds, and often thousands of applications for their offered positions.
Internship placement companies can provide you with a much easier experience. Taking into account your interests, needs and what it is that you would like, they can help you find placements that are right for your profile. They also usually come with extra services such as assistance with your CV and help you to prepare interviews.
How to Make Your Application Stand Out
• Make sure you check your CV before sending it out to internships. Applying to an internship is as important as applying for a job. The employers need to see you are serious about working with them and that you will be valuable to the team. If you need more help with CV writing check out our post on how to write the perfect CV!
• Tailor your resume to each position you apply to. Your skills and any past experience should be a match for the role. If there is any info that could seem more relevant to the application you can go into more detail. If you are applying to roles in different countries you should check out what their resume standards are. In some countries, it’s the norm to add a photograph. Whereas in others it isn’t.
• When you’re applying for internships it’s pretty normal not to have much experience to add to your CV. It may seem empty but that doesn’t mean you should go overboard on irrelevant details or lie. You can add a skills space, they don’t necessarily have to be professional, many “soft skills” are seen as incredibly valuable by recruiters. For more information on soft skills, check out our top 5 Human Skills post!
Be prepared for your interview
Okay, so your CV is awesome and the employer would like to interview you! The next step is to make sure you are prepared. A few tips from our HR experts are:
– Do your research! Look up the company beforehand, know all the basics and
– Dress appropriately. You want to give a good first impression, once you get to know the company a little bit you can decide if it has a casual or more formal setting.
– Arrive on time. Punctuality is always a great first impression, arriving late never looks good!
– Be confident. If you are well prepared this will help boost your confidence in yourself and know why it is that you are perfect for the role.
– Offer a firm handshake
– Smile! Everyone likes to see a friendly face 😊
If the internship is abroad or isn’t close to where you currently are, it’s likely that you will be asked to do an interview via Skype. We recommended that you prepare for a Skype interview in the same way you would for an in-person one. Make sure you have a strong internet connection and that your camera and audio function correctly, it’s good to do a test run before the interview. For more tips on how to ace your Skype interview check out this post!
Types of Internships and Popular Destinations
There are many different types of internships: paid, internships for university credit, for nonprofit organizations or a summer internship. Make sure you know exactly which type it is that you are interested in, and which could benefit you the most.
Finally, if you are thinking about doing your internship abroad here are a few of the most popular destinations:
– Madrid: a bustling city, named many times as one of the best startup cities in Europe that also has that laidback Spanish touch. With its rapidly growing economy and determined work ethics combined with a great social scene, fueled by its 300 days of sunshine.
– Paris: known for its strong cultural diversity, along with a dynamic and innovative economy. The city has a romantic vibe, with beautiful architecture, impressive cultural attractions and of course the Disneyland theme park. It’s one of the most popular destinations with tourists.
– Berlin: a city bursting with European art, trends, politics, and culture that has quickly developed another pillar in the tech and innovation sector. It offers a stable and solid environment for its businesses, meaning it has a constant stream of young professionals.
– London: this capital city is full of cultural diversity, with over 300 languages spoken in the city. It has an extensive range of job opportunities, great transport, and a very vibrant atmosphere.
These are just a few tips and information to help make applying for an internship a little bit easier 🙂 At Planet Expat we offer help will every part of the process, career coaching to help you find your path and Work Abroad for the adventurous types who are looking for international experience! Good Luck with your next search!