How to get an internship with no experience
As more students choose to attend college, an internship is often needed in addition to a degree to kickstart your career. In many professions, businesses now often expect an internship in a relevant field to consider you for a new position. It can be hard however, to find an internship that aligns with your career goals.
Here are some useful tips to help you obtain a desired internship.
Think about your qualifications
One of the biggest mistakes people make when applying for an internship is applying for every available internship to improve the odds of success. A better approach is to consider the experience and skills that you currently possess and only apply for internships that match these existing skills.
Know when to look
When you have a firmer understanding of which internships would suit you, it is time to start searching.
Talk to your personal network
Getting help from family, friends, classmates, or professors is a simple and straightforward way to learn more about which internship is perfect for you. A personal recommendation from a reputable person can also make you more attractive to employers.
Explore job sites
Many popular job sites have hundreds of thousands of roles advertised so there is certainly something out there for you. Thanks to the search filters provided, you can narrow your results down to internships, as well as the industry and location. Creating an email job alert is also a wise move.
Make use of your college’s resources
It is now standard for higher education institutions to have a career website to explore. It is also worthwhile attending internship job fairs where you meet company representatives face-to-face.
How to get an internship by preparing your application materials
Ensuring that all your application materials are as good as they can be is important for progressing past the first step and getting that internship interview.
All college graduates should know how to write a general resume but there are a few things that you can do to make it stand out. Quantify the impact you made during previous jobs or experiences on your resume to show factual evidence of how you could benefit a future employer. It's best to provide real examples with numerical evidence and statistics to show your impact in the role. You should also highlight your key achievements in previous roles or work experience, rather than just your duties.
You should also adapt your resume to the internship description on every application. Go through the internship description and pick out key parts where you have similar prior experience and include them in the resume. Adding a hyperlink to an online portfolio of previous work is also an innovative idea if appropriate.
Attaching a cover letter to your resume can make it stand out, as well as provide additional context. Always ensure that the cover letter is not just repeating what your resume already says.
Like your resume, your cover letter should be tailored to the internship that you are applying for. Explain how your existing work experience matches the internship description, as well as adding points that prove you have researched the specific company you’re applying to.
Cover letters are a chance to show your personality through an authentic tone. Mentioning something unique or personal about yourself will make your cover letter memorable and serve as talking points during an interview. It is also worth including a creative idea that you have for the company.
How to prepare for an internship interview
Going to an interview can be nerve-wracking for some people, but it is a crucial stage in getting an internship offer. With adequate preparation, the interview can be an opportunity to build upon the skills and experience listed in your resume while showing off your personality.
As a minimum, you should research basic details about the company, such as the services or products they provide, who their competitors are, and read any recent news articles regarding the business or sector that they operate in. You can also use this information as a source to create your own questions and make the process more of a conversation rather than just answering interview questions.
Researching common interview questions is an excellent preparation idea. If you are put on the spot and not sure how to answer a question, do not be afraid to ask for more time. Bringing written or printed notes to the interview may ease your nerves and make you feel prepared and organized to answer any questions that come up.
Church & Dwight
If you are interested in a student internship, you should look no further than Church & Dwight. We have a unique learning culture that makes our company a fantastic place to work. Our student internships are hired seasonally and are limited. Learn more about our teams here.