Applying for an internship can seem like a disconcerting process. Apart from turning up on your knees at the workplace and asking for an internship, how can you apply for an internship?
Really, you should treat applying for an internship as if you are applying for a full-time job. That means no casual emails and no begging. Most people apply in fall arm of the year for internships.
Some internship programs have year-long waiting lists with literally hundreds of applications constantly coming in, so it’s very important that you take the time to design a tip-top application.
A number of students apply for such internships every year but only a few percent get selected because they work on things that make their application stand out from other applicants.
We have compiled a list of things you need to work on to get internships at fortune companies. Do give this a read before applying for any internship!
LET’S GET STARTED!
HOW TO APPLY FOR AN INTERNSHIP?
Requirements for internships come in all sizes and lengths. Many large corporations will have application forms for internships which you will be expected to fill out, while others may simply have an email address to which you can send your CV and cover letter. You might also be applying for an internship speculatively, or for the one you’ve learned about from a friend.
You should consider the following in all your applications:
– What can I offer the company?
– What kind of interns are they looking for and how can I fit that profile?
– Why do I want to work for this company?
Each application will highlight the skills and attributes you believe would make you an asset to the company. Many firms outline the characteristics they are looking for in an intern but, generally speaking, most firms are looking for enthusiastic applicants who can work well without too much pressure and can easily adjust to new challenges.
Apply as early as possible because positions are filled on a rolling basis and a lot of positions get filled early.
UPGRADE YOUR SKILL SET
Employers will eventually appreciate what expertise you can bring to them. But if you have trouble finding a structured internship or a part-time position – whether this summer or anytime – use the opportunity to discover new skills and expand on them. Employers searching for top skills on resumes such as verbal and written communication and problem-solving are qualities that you can build up right now at home.
Use the time to create an app, write code, develop a marketing plan, solve a business issue, write a research statement, or start a blog. Imagine that this is a school project. To begin with, think about a current issue or problem, give yourself a challenge, and come up with your own solution.
If you notice that there are a few skills that are lacking from the specified work requirements, or you have the specified skills but only know that your ideal career is changing, spend time to develop those skills. Take an additional course at school, or an online course, check out library books, use all available tools to create an ideal skill set. That way, your application would be hard to disregard.
NETWORK AND GET REFERRALS
The best way to improve the odds of an interview is to get to know someone with a certain influence at the ideal employer. Create a list of your dream employers and ask everyone you can if they know someone: your parents, your friends, your colleagues, the friends of your colleagues, your teachers, alumni, etc. Send cold emails, arrange insightful interviews, go to conferences and lectures.
Network with recruiters and employees on LinkedIn. Attending and checking-in at conferences will put you in the priority queue. Cold emailing recruiters can expedite your process. Now is the time to hit the pavement and make contacts.
Ask your family and friends to conduct an interview with you. As uncomfortable and boring as it is with family or friends to practice a job interview, the training can make you feel more secure when the time comes and can make you get into a good routine answering questions that can be challenging, such as ‘tell me about yourself,’ or ‘what your strengths and weaknesses’ can help you stand out by getting an answer practiced and rehearsed. You can also set up a work environment at home, dress yourself up in formal clothing and do a complete mock interview. Record the interview and see how it went!
Check out this article to ace virtual interviews: https://scholarshiptrack.org/2020/08/20/how-to-ace-virtual-interviews/
BROADEN YOUR PROSPECTS
Being centered and versatile is helpful when you begin to develop some sort of career plan. The pandemic shows how easily even the very best plans can alter. Expand your vision and the kinds of positions or industries to which you apply. Consider other positions, such as health care, pharmaceuticals or science writing and other tasks that could be distant if you are concentrated on a laboratory research position in a university laboratory that is no longer recruiting.
If you were hoping to work at a consulting company, you may want to look for startups, non-profits, or local businesses that need support to solve this crisis. Key to holding your creativity and improving your vision. Don’t take something away from the table. Contact your network for advice. Get imaginative and think about jobs you previously enjoyed. You may also be driven in a new direction by a campus activity or social problem that you care about.
ONLINE INTERNSHIP APPLICATIONS
Some bigger companies may allow you to fill out an application form online. There will be a staggering number of internship applicants in these companies. Stop dropping at the first hurdle by making sure you thoroughly (but concisely) answer each question and triple check your application for spelling errors and grammatical errors.
Make sure you show how well you are meeting the criteria they are looking for in an intern and back up your claims with examples. Tell them about the projects you have done in a specific domain.
SENDING INTERNSHIP APPLICATIONS TO A GENERAL EMAIL ADDRESS
Most organizations simply have an email address where your application for the internship will be sent. If it’s a generic email address, call the organization and ask the name of the person you will be sending your application to. Make sure you mention what internship you are applying to in your email description.
You would need to add your curriculum vitae to the email and either insert your cover letter into the email body or send it as an attachment.
Keeping your cover letter fairly brief is a smart idea: It should be no more than an A4 sheet. You may want to break it up into three or four parts, identifying: why you want to work for their company, what skills you have to give them, why they’d benefit from having you on, and what areas of work you’re especially interested in.
You might also need to include what dates you are available. Your attached CV should be tailored to their company and the specific internship; that means excluding anything which is irrelevant and emphasizing your relevant work experience and skills.
SPECULATIVE INTERNSHIP APPLICATIONS
The easiest thing to do is call the company to inquire about the contact name to which your application will be submitted. Then contact them with a closing letter and the curriculum vitae. You may want to specify a specific area or department you are especially interested in and make sure you note when you are ready to start.
To sum it up, it’s appropriate to say that landing an internship at fortune companies is a complex task, but it’s up to you! It’s you who defines your future path in life and it’s you who is able to challenge yourself every day.
Many people lack information about how to apply for any internship and how to design their applications to stand out from the crowd but by keeping these points in mind, you’ll be sure to set yourself up for success and get closer to landing an awesome internship at fortune 500 companies.