8 things to look forward to that can help you land internships
Internships are considered as important as getting good grades in exams in almost every formal education system. From a student perspective, it helps to get a taste of big professional world out there and polishes ones resume/profile. From a company’s point of view it helps them to understand if a particular intern would fit in their culture or not and also his/her approach towards work before consideration for a full time role.
Having had few internship experiences during my graduation period, listed below are the things that worked for me:
1. Focus on the basics
When you are a student nobody expects you to be a ninja at skills, what matters is how good you are with basics and how fast you can build up on them. If you are an intern nobody expects you to solve world crisis by building the next big thing but what matters is your approach towards the problem, how you use the fundamentals of the technology you know to break the ice and your urge to learn more to solve the particular problem. So, first rule is to work on and strengthen your basics.
“You can’t build a great building on a weak foundation.”
— Gordon B. Hinckley
2. Create something on your own Personal Projects
The first thing which is noticed when you apply for any position as an intern are the efforts taken by you in order to grow, succeed and learn more. One of the important parts of which is to build something. When you create a project on your own it shows your skills and the recruiter gets an idea of how much you can be exploited to bring out what they need. Also it shows you are passionate about what you do. The projects need not be something out of the box but they should highlight your knowledge and skills. In my case, I am passionate about creating websites and when I started I didn’t had a portfolio like the one I have now, no internships, no experience and not even an exceptional GPA but I began by creating something on my own. I developed a basic weather app which shows weather of the location entered by the user, an endless runner game Set Sail and finally a basic portfolio website to showcase my projects. These were not the best projects someone could think of but they helped me get started. I ended up landing a couple of internships and few freelancing clients due to these projects. Thus, if you haven’t yet started now is the time.
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step”
— Lao Tzu
3. Invest time in creating your resume
Your resume is your first impression a recruiter sees and that impression plays a huge role in deciding your future with that firm, either you land an interview or your resume ends up in trash bin. So why not utilize the one shot you have impress the recruiter. Make sure to mention only the details which are relevant to the job profile. Your resume should clearly highlight your aim, skills, past experiences, educational qualifications, achievements and your projects. Keep it short, a single page is enough. Try to utilize the skills you have in making your resume, it makes your resume stand out. Remember, it’s your resume you can cater it the way you want and the recruiter will see it the way you show it.
4. A concise to the point cover letter
Gone are the days when people used to wrap the resume inside a cover letter, put it inside an envelope and deliver it to the recruiters. It’s 2017 and email cover letters have replaced the former. Ask yourself would you read a 500 word email if someone applies for a position? Maybe yes. Now think what if you receive 100 such emails daily? I hope you get my point. It’s important to write a pleasing and to the point cover letter. Even 8–10 lines about you, your passion and an attached resume is capable of hitting the bull’s eye. Just keep it short and pay close attention to formatting.
5. Build your LinkedIn profile, Grow your network
LinkedIn is undoubtedly the most promising social networking site for recruiters and job hunters. According to a survey 94% of recruiters use LinkedIn to vet candidates and around 85% of jobs are filled through networking. If you are a recent graduate or a student it is must to have a LinkedIn profile and the most important thing is to keep it up to date. As per the statistics of 2016 there are more than 467,000,000 users registered on the employment oriented social network and 65,000,000+ active job listings. Thus it is important to use social networking sites wisely, follow the right people and be active on appropriate groups that will help you grow and build your career.
To know what factors to consider while creating your profile have a look at http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/professional-linkedin-profile/ and http://linkhumans.com/blog/tips-linkedin-profile.
6. Aim for startups
If you are a newbie with no or very less experience, believe me you can keep shooting emails at tech giants but you won’t receive a positive response. It’s a great thing to aim for working at Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Amazon or any other company in the same league but to accomplish that you need to have immense in depth knowledge and an extremely strong profile. So let’s begin by taking tiny steps and target startups. Start applying with your resume, tell them about projects you have worked upon in the past and how you are really passionate about what you do. Remember, this is the time for you to focus on learning and in a startup environment you get to learn a lot.
7. Reach out to people, be bold enough to ask
Start connecting with professionals on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and any other social networking site you use. Follow their posts closely, ask them for tips, things to focus upon and any open positions you can apply for in the firm they are working. 90% of people out there are really humble and will answer your queries with deep concern, you just need to ASK.
“You get in life what you have the courage to ask for”
— Oprah Winfrey
8. Search for openings on job platforms and follow the trick
There are numerous job and internship platforms out there. Keep an eye on the opportunities listed on those portals and apply if anything suits you. But instead of applying through the portal itself search out for company’s website and reach out to them via a personal email and a resume in the attachments, most companies have the application procedure and opportunities listed on their careers page. This surely makes a difference in the time in which the recruiter will see your profile and your chances of getting noticed are fairly increased.