The internship is the preliminary step in a professional world and lets me tell you the most critical one. There is a preconceived notion of the internship as a fun job that includes only menial tasks but sadly it is a wrong one. An intern who has the drive to achieve something bigger will use it as an opportunity for the right path. It is a great way of getting valuable job experience and gaining contacts that will prove productive in job prospects.
It can be both paid and unpaid and it is better to decide the one which will be suitable for you. A good internship will give you hands-on experience and will prove a stepping stone towards your dream job.
1) Decide what you want
The first step is always the most difficult one. Most of the individuals are so busy going along with the crowd that they fail to ask themselves what are their own desires. Before you ask for an internship ask yourself what do you want and where do you want to go?
Start with the companies who feel will be best for you and try to make a list about the industry that fascinates you, about the related organization where you can make an impact and now start making a viable list of potential internships that will help you in achieving your goals.
Make sure that you are looking for internship programs that will be able to suit both your skills and interest so that the journey proves a fruitful one.
2) Write your resume
Your list is complete and you have decided on the various internship programs that will help you in your career path. Before you ask for an internship it is important that you are ready with your resume and the necessary papers related to it.
Make sure that you have prepared a resume that is structured properly. Keep it short and sweet with a customized cover letter. Be precise and professional in your wordings because you will be stepping in a professional environment where everything is done within definite parameters.
You can take the help of online guides to create a solid resume that can grab the attention of a recruiter.
Intelligent networking is the only way to get an internship that has been tailor-made for you. Think about the various resources at your disposal and arrange them in order. Start with the contacts at your school/college and take the help of its career center, which has its own contacts and networks that you can take help of. Connect with the alumni from school/college on LinkedIn who work in the organizations where you want to go and tap them for tips, advice and further connections. Tap your friends, family members and acquaintances about the openings you are interested in.
You can go to job fairs and business events where companies hire interns and also take help of professional organizations that help in finding the best internship suitable for you. Make sure that the company you are interested in has an ongoing internship program because only then you can ask for an internship otherwise all your efforts will prove futile.
4) Make contact
When you have found an open post for an internship, it becomes important that you make contact and ask for an internship. The posting itself will clarify the method of communication you simply will have to follow the appropriate steps. In case of unspecified details make a call, garner the necessary information and act accordingly.
It is important to be prompt in your dealings and send your resume, cover letter or a portfolio of your works via email or post as specified. Recruiters appreciate someone with a special zeal and they will not hesitate to appoint interns who are prompt and efficient in their dealings. Be prepared, make contact and apply as soon as possible if you want to nail the situation.
5) Follow up
Do you think that you have made a contact and sent him your resume along with necessary papers and your work is complete and it is now up to them to call you? It is you who need to follow-up so that you can know what is happening with your internship. After a gap of nearly two weeks, it is appropriate to send an email reminding the recruiter about your application.
Thank them for the consideration and show them your appreciation for an opportunity. Don’t nag the recruiter for results as the company will send the details according to their inclination.
6) Phone Interviews
Your efforts to ask for internship have proved fruitful and you have landed an interview. It is a great achievement and you have certainly cleared the half-way mark. Nowadays several companies have started the preliminary interview via a phone call to get a feel about the candidate early on.
With a phone interview, you as an intern have an advantage of not being judged for your physical appearance. There are several things which you must adhere to. Never ever interrupt the person who is speaking at the other end. Always let him complete his say and answer when you find an appropriate opening.
Listen, comprehend and then answer to the best of your ability. Do not act over smart and start informing him about your life history. Remember you are in a professional interview so behave professionally.
7) Dress the part
Dressing the part is an important factor when you have been called for an interview. You have asked for internship and do you think that you are the only candidate that has applied for the position. Never ever becomes part of the crowd, it is your individuality that will separate you from others and open viable opportunities. In order to ensure a good interview, the intern must be properly attired. It is a formal setting so please wear formal clothes with the correct footwear.
You are not going on a social occasion so keep your accessories to a minimum, for instance, a wristwatch for males and a wristwatch with simple studs in ears for females. Dressing appropriately will act as a booster and will give you the necessary confidence to face your interviewer with aplomb.
8) In-person interview
The first fifteen seconds of an in-person interview is very important and it is the time which originally determines whether you will be selected or not. Knock, ask permission and strive forward with confidence. Sit either after gaining permission or when asked to. Do not open your mouth randomly. Speak when spoken to. Be precise but articulate. Maintain your self-confidence.
Even if you do not know the answer, then it is ok, do not give a wrong one or do not offer any excuses. These are some basic things that one most follow diligently to create a good impression on the interviewer.
9) Emphasize on flexibility
The internship includes a fixed set of duties. Sometimes companies are looking to hire interns that have the time to be flexible in workings and timings. You must be mentally prepared for such a scenario and when you ask for internship let the hiring manager know about it. When you tell your prospective employer that you are willing to do any type of work and be flexible to suit their needs it will work in your favor and you will be easily able to secure the internship.
10) Accept and start immediately
When you get an offer that you feel is good for you, take a minute to consider and accept it. Show your willingness and create a good impression. Let the manager know that you are equipped to start as soon as they give the green signal. Your positive nature and willingness to go the extra mile will work in your favor and you might also get to take it further by converting it into a job opportunity.