Many industries are competitive and see thousands of candidates applying for every job role that is available. Many employers now only look at CV templates and cover letters that demonstrate relevant work experience and will often dismiss those that don’t show the relevant experience. Although qualifications and skills are vital, most employers like to see work experience on a CV because it demonstrates that you have put these qualifications and skills into action and that you have a grasp of the industry. One way of gaining experience in your chosen industry is by applying for an internship position. Internships, although usually unpaid, provide you with an opportunity to find out more about the job and to boost your CV content. So if you want to apply for an internship, here are some tips to help you get the position.
You need to decide what industry you want to work in and what kind of experience you need to help your CV stand out from the crowd. Once you have decided this you then need to look into internships in your chosen area. Use the internet, social media sites and local networking events to find out about possible opportunities. You can also make a list of companies you would like to gain experience with and send your CV directly to them.
Before you speculatively send out your CV you need to update it with the relevant content and you should ensure your personal statement and career objective are up to date too. An employer will want to know why you are applying for an internship position and what you want to gain from it. They will also want to know what skills you can bring to their organisation. Ensure you update your CV, include your most recent job and personalise the content to fit the internship role you are applying for.
Employers, especially those in a competitive industry, receive hundreds of work experience and internship requests every week. To ensure your application gets read write a personalised cover letter. You should include your expertise, a brief explanation as to why you want to gain work experience and outline why you want to work for the company. If an employer receives a personalised application it will demonstrate you have done your research on their company and that you have a real passion to work in the industry.
Just because you don’t have relevant work experience doesn’t mean you can’t enhance your CV with references. Including references on your CV from previous positions, regardless of the industry, is a great way to boost your chances of gaining an internship. An employer will want to know that you are trustworthy and hardworking and references can instil this confidence in the employer. For extra impact contact your previous employers and ask them for quotes to support your work ethic and skills and consider including these quotes throughout your application.
Once you have done all of this you are ready to send your CV and inquiry to the employer of your choice. Ensure you go onto the company website and follow their recruitment rules – if they have a specific form on their website for internships ensure you apply via this and check the recruitment section of their website. Once you have submitted your application you should follow it up with a phone call to ensure they received it. This will also give you an opportunity to ask when you might hear about the role. Repeat this process until you have applied for all of the relevant positions and hopefully you’ll gain an internship!