If you have decided against having a year in industry or placement and are eager to get out into the world of work, summer internships are the perfect solution.
After applying for quite a few internships, I found one for the summer, yet this process was not as easy as I had thought it would be. So here are my top tips that I found helpful when applying:
- Make sure that you have checked your CV to ensure it is up to date and contains no spelling mistakes. This is something that may seem pretty simple, but so many applicants get written-off at the first hurdle due to a sloppy typo.
- Most employers tend to skim through CV’s very quickly because of the abundance they receive; therefore you should make sure your most relevant skills and experience are in a prominent place – most commonly at the top. If you need any help with writing or just need someone to check your CV, the University of Kent has a careers department, which can help with any queries.
Know what you want
I came across a lot of different internships in terms of length, location, pay and different areas. Issues that you really need to think about before applying for the internships are:
- Will you be available when they want you to start and finish?
– You will need to be flexible if you want to gain the right experience
- Are you able to get to that location?
– Try only searching in areas where you know you can get to as to save time on ‘irrelevant’ applications
- Does the pay actually matter?
– Different companies offer different benefits; you may get offered no pay, just expenses paid or paid work. Obviously it is great to get paid, however if you do not get paid you are still gaining valuable experience that you can put on your CV and you are also gaining contacts you may possibly use in the future.
- And most importantly, is this the area you really want to work in?
– Most students do not actually know exactly what they want to do when they graduate but that is not necessarily a bad thing. By doing an internship you can see if you would like to go into that area of work or not. Also, because internships are not usually longer than around 3 months you are not stuck in the job for a long time if you do not enjoy that type of work.
- Internships are usually advertised online and the process of applying is through an online system set up by the company. This makes it easier for both the company and you. You can easily upload your CV, fill in your personal details and keep updated through emails about your progress.
- Most companies now also include various different tests to find the right applicants to interview. This involves a number of online tests, telephone or video interviews and then if you are lucky you will be invited to an assessment day or interview.
- The main advice I can give for online testing is to prepare and practice before you take them. The university has a webpage with advice on what to expect with these tests so have a look before you take them so that you feel more at ease.
- Being prepared also relates to the interview stage, as you need to practice your interview skills and plan the right outfit to impress.
“It is not what you know but it is who you know”
The classic “it is not what you know but it is who you know” line is certainly a cliché but can be applied to some situations. If you know someone who works within an industry or company in which you would like to gain experience, it cannot hurt to ask.
A lot of people end up in certain jobs because of who they know and their personal connections. Yet, it is not the end of the world if you do not know anyone in the industry you want to enter. There are many different websites that advertise internships.
Here are a few to check out:
Alternatively, if you know a few companies you would like to work for, search their website as they usually post the links about the various internships they offer and deadline dates.
Finally, just be yourself, good luck and enjoy the experience!
I am a chocolate lover and addicted to shopping! I love going on city breaks across the world experiencing different cultures and learning about the history of each place. I also have a passion for skiing and my favourite holidays have been family ski trips. I would highly recommend it to anyone who has never been before!
I have always lived in Kent yet I rarely got to visit Canterbury until I moved down here for university and I instantly fell in love with the city, as the high street is perfect if you are a shopaholic like me!