Your Guide To Landing A Job

Internships are particularly helpful when it comes to gaining experience and honing an employee’s skills. There is no way around them in life, especially if you are a college student. Internships help to shape personalities, work ethics and habits for the future. It helps cement how much further more schooling or actual industry experience is needed.

With the global job market becoming increasingly competitive, employees need to acquire as many skills and experience as possible. Internships are temporary positions that college students often pursue to differentiate themselves from the pool of job candidates. The National Association for Colleges & Employers (NACE) reports that more than 91% of employers prefer applicants that have work experience. The majority of this group prefers industry-specific internships over volunteer work.

The value of relevant work experience to employers and graduate schools is understood by colleges and universities. They offer career counseling and placement services, and often require students to complete an internship as a requirement for their degree. An internship offers the opportunity for hands-on learning in a real-world setting, allowing you to build relationships with peers, industry experts, and potential employers.

This guide contains information to assist you in finding and completing internships. You’ll gain insight into the application process and learn about intern responsibilities. Additionally, the guide provides tips on how to maximize your gains while working as an intern.

Your Guide To Internships

While the U.S. jobs market has experienced noticeable improvement since the Great Recession of the 2000s, most college graduates still fail to find jobs in their fields. The Economic Policy Institute reported that the underemployment rate — which includes part-time workers seeking full-time employment and workers whose qualifications exceeded the requirements for their current job — was 11.1% in 2018. For perspective, the rate was 9.4% in 2007 and 6.9% in 2000.

Whether you take paid or unpaid internships, these experiences will enhance your resume/CV and help you attain a position that pays well and is relevant to your degree. The following sections detail four major benefits of internships.

Benefits of Internships

While the U.S. jobs market has experienced noticeable improvement since the Great Recession of the 2000s, most college graduates still fail to find jobs in their fields. The Economic Policy Institute reported that the underemployment rate — which includes part-time workers seeking full-time employment and workers whose qualifications exceeded the requirements for their current job — was 11.1% in 2018. For perspective, the rate was 9.4% in 2007 and 6.9% in 2000.

Whether you take paid or unpaid internships, these experiences will enhance your resume/CV and help you attain a position that pays well and is relevant to your degree. The following sections detail four major benefits of internships.

Many students pursue multiple internships throughout their college careers and after they graduate to explore various industries. It is possible to test out a career and assess if it is a good match for your goals, personal interests, and financial needs. You can also gain an intimate perspective of working with colleagues on a set schedule under the guidance of managers. Recalibrating your expectations may help you assess your motivations and recalibrate your expectations.

Your training experience can spur your desire to work in a particular field for a specific organization. However, an internship can also demonstrate that a line of work comes with unanticipated long-term responsibilities and drawbacks. In this case, the reward is learning which positions to avoid and which career paths are worth your attention and dedication.

Internships are often coordinated with peers, so candidates have the opportunity to build teamwork and leadership skills. By participating in a day-to-day training program with a group, you’ll form professional and personal bonds that can support your job search and provide you with career advancement opportunities.

Essentially, internships are educational opportunities. You work with experienced practitioners to learn the job responsibilities and, through asking questions, gain strategies for career entry. Even better, you may get a personal mentor who will act as a resume contact and an industry resource. Regardless of the field, successful college interns build a vast network of contacts across multiple organizations and countries that they can cross-reference. Interns who work with clients can strengthen external relationships that could lead to other internships or jobs.

An internship can be an excellent opportunity to gain significant experience in a professional setting. Many companies are eager to have interns during the summer and will compete with each other for the chance to hire you full-time after graduation. Internships provide opportunities for students to explore career ideas, develop new skills, and particularly for students who want a job following college.

It is possible to work with experienced scientists in the field or in a laboratory to gather samples, analyze data, and prepare reports. Organisations detail the specific responsibilities and expectations of an internship in the beginning, but you should be prepared for their transition throughout the course of your training.

Aside from providing you with industry-specific skills, securing an internship can also help you develop soft skills such as communication, teamwork, and relationship building.

As learning institutions and employers look to hold on to their most talented trainees, the paid internship has taken center stage. From coast-to-coast, students have been tuning their resumes and polishing up their interview skills in hopes of earning a spot in the small percentage of internships that lead to full-time employment after graduation.

Based on a 2015 study conducted by NACE, approximately 90% of returning interns receive offers for full-time positions. Contrary to this, only 43.5% of first-time interns get a job offer.

Employers often prefer former interns when making new hires for full-time positions. There are several reasons why interns make good employees, even within the competitive job market. Internships allow employers to get to know potential employees on a deeper level, and interview candidates in a low-pressure situation where they can spend more time conversing with them and observing their work habits.

Although an internship does not necessarily lead to a full-time position, it still serves as a resume builder that adds to your skills and experience. These skills and experience are highly valued by hiring managers and top recruiters looking for qualified candidates who will be able to fit seamlessly into the culture of their organization. They become even more valuable when you account for the interview training, career guidance and mentorship that is often incorporated into an internship program.

What To Consider When Searching For Internships?

You should not only set concrete goals but also account for the time commitment of an internship. Organizations and companies usually publish such practical requirements to help students plan accordingly. The purpose of an internship is to complement your education. The position will not yield positive results if it hinders your ability to achieve in school or maintain personal responsibilities. If you stretch yourself too thin, you will be an ineffective intern.

By limiting the time commitment of an internship, students are often able to balance multiple internships concurrently. The breakdown of time between academic commitments and internship responsibilities varies widely depending on the student and his or her interests, but most educational institutions require at least a year’s time commitment from any student performing an internship. Not all interns receive college credit for their work because not all internships are accredited by colleges or universities .

Most semester-based internships require a maximum of 20 hours per week of part-time commitment. Students need to complete at least 150 hours of work during an internship to receive college credits. Internships over the summer months usually require a full-time work schedule. The opportunities are more likely to earn monetary compensation. Also, there are summer internships abroad that will enable you to gain an international perspective and explore career options abroad.

As part of the college curriculum, students who complete internships earn up to 3-12 credits per internship, depending on the hours they work. Program-facilitated internships provide structured training experiences that align with degree objectives and university standards. Part of their intern responsibilities includes providing weekly reflections and regularly communicating with the supervisor and their faculty mentor.

If degree candidates pursue an internship outside of their programs, they can receive elective or independent study credits if they coordinate with their departments beforehand. To be approved for this type of program, you must show that the internship supports your academic and professional development in a manner that supports the program’s purpose. You will also need official support from a faculty or university administrator.

Setting professional objectives for the goals of your internship can help you turn a seemingly menial task into your first big break. Internships are typically an opportunity to make positive professional impressions on existing colleagues, but the process of choosing how to spend your time during an internship can have even greater impact. By setting professional objectives that align with your employment goals, you can use the time to maximize the benefits of an internship and set yourself apart from other students competing for available positions after graduation.

Setting goals for an internship can help you keep everything in perspective. Goals can help you make the most of your time and make positive professional impressions. When you set goals, you establish a plan. Then you’ll know exactly what you’re doing and how to get it done — before you’ve even started.

As you navigate the process of finding an internship, be sure that whatever motivation or objectives you have are not out of your control. It is important to stay aware of your strengths and weaknesses as you identify potential internship opportunities.

When thinking about goals for an internship, it can help to break down your overarching career ambitions into smaller, more manageable goals. Your long-term aspirations should reflect your personality and desire to achieve, but you should also consider the steps required to reach your ultimate objective.

The most important aspect of any internship is that it’s mutually beneficial for both you and your employer. By aligning your goals with the company’s objectives, you ensure your work contributes to the success of the company. Making yourself valuable increases your chances of getting references, career guidance, and job offers.

Paid and unpaid internships are similar in many ways. Both types of internships offer a valuable way to gain experience within a particular field, and they both require a substantial time commitment from students. However, the main difference between paid and unpaid internships lies in whether or not the individual receiving the training is getting paid for it . Unpaid internships allow students to obtain professional experience while obtaining course credit. Paid internships are just that—they provide compensation in exchange for work hours completed and skills given.

Paid and unpaid internships both offer opportunities for hands-on training, networking and a glimpse into the industry you’re entering. The difference is that unpaid internships come with no compensation while paid internships provide at least minimum wage or higher. Payscale reports that, on average, people who completed paid internships earned $12,569 a year more than people who completed unpaid internships. That’s nearly $1,000 a month extra per year!

Paying or unpaying, for credit or non-credit, internships should benefit learners in significant ways. Some companies exploit college students, but the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) maintains regulatory protections. Those who work for-profit/private sector internships that fulfill the duties of a paid employee are eligible for the federal minimum hourly wage. DOL also sets forth six standards for unpaid internships, including discernable educational and professional outcomes for the student.

An internship is a great way to gain some experience while still in school, or after school. Since many internships are either unpaid or underpaid, you should carefully consider your financial situation. Prospective interns should carefully consider their financial situations, as unpaid internships can be financially burdensome. While such programs may offer some degree of skill development and networking opportunities, they may also impair schoolwork and employment prospects.

The traditional, in-person internship is representative of the path to take for most students. They offer hands-on training and the opportunity to use your new skills in a real-world setting. However, with the rise of collaborative software and telecommunication platforms, remote internships are on the rise. As the name suggests, remote interns work through a virtual platform and connect with colleagues and supervisors via email, phone calls, and conferencing programs like Google Hangouts, Slack, and Skype.

In a traditional internship, you live in an unfamiliar city and are provided housing, meals, and transportation. While this may seem like the ideal internship, it’s not the only option. Remote internships allow you to gain professional experience without having to move away from home and develop career-relevant skills without breaking your bank.

With a remote internship, you can gain experiences that are career-relevant, so you’ll be ready to hit the ground running when you graduate. These skills will look great on your resume and are often transferable to any company. Plus, if you’re going after an entry level position, it’s helpful to have some hands-on experience because it helps your resume stand out.

Working remotely for an internship can have its advantages because you’re not tethered to a particular office location. But the lack of office community that comes with an internship can be a potential disadvantage.

Where To Search for Internships?

Many students consider internships during their first or third year of university. Therefore, you should begin your search early and use every resource to find the perfect internship. Seek the support of friends, peers, mentors, and family. A number of resources are available at universities and colleges, including counseling services and internship fairs. Websites are a major source of internships, particularly for remote positions and international opportunities.

Searching for the perfect internship involves a significant amount of research. This is particularly true if you’re looking for remote positions or internships in foreign countries. Internships can be found through a multitude of resources. To find the best internship possible, there are many websites and other resources you should utilize throughout your search. If you begin early, gather support from others, and explore all potential resources, you will greatly increase your chances of landing the right internship for you.

In the following sections, we will explore these internship search tools in more detail.

Internships that match your long and short term career goals can be found through and InternshipFinder. Websites like Indeed, LinkedIn, and WayUp can help you find remote internships.You can search for government-sponsored positions via Go Governmentas well as internships centered on sustainability Green America. posts internship opportunities in the nonprofit sector Learn4Good allows you to look for internships based on your academic major. Websites like The Washington Center, SmartIntern China, GoAbroad, and International Internships LLC focus on opportunities in specific geographic regions.

Your college or university career center is a one stop shop for job seekers, whether you’re looking for paid internships or only to gain work experience. They often provide resume reviews, interview preparation, and resources for filling out applications. By finding interns through your school’s career center, you can feel confident that the internship experience meets university guidelines for skill development and employee safety. You also have a better chance of translating internship hours into course credit.

By completing internships near home, you save money on housing and travel, and cultivate meaningful relationships with community groups and local employers.If you have an idea of what type of work or position you want, speak with relevant businesses, institutions, and government agencies. Many companies advertise internship opportunities on their websites, while others prefer to hire candidates who seek them out. If you seek the guidance of nonprofits and public libraries, you can explore a variety of possibilities.

Attending networking events, whether in person or virtually, offers valuable opportunities to find internships. You can inquire with your school’s career center and academic departments about upcoming social gatherings and internship fairs. You can find out events in your community through websites like Eventbrite and National Career Fairs. Academic societies and professional organizations organize networking events for their members and, occasionally, for the general public. You can learn how to cultivate relationships with colleagues and mentors by accessing this networking guide.

Talk to your friends and family members that share the same career interests for possible internship leads. A former employer, mentor, or coach can also be an important source of advice because they know you from a professional perspective and can vouch for your character and work ethic. It is important to talk to as many trusted network contacts as possible to help you get more job opportunities. They may be in a position to recommend your for an interview or recommend you in the future if they have an opening.

Internship Application Tips

Just like any other job, acquiring an internship requires you to plan and navigate the application process carefully. In the following four sections, information on how to apply is provided. You will also learn to boost the effectiveness of your resume and cover letter by emphasizing transferable skills and relevant accomplishments. These aspects are important especially to first-time interns who may not have industry-specific skills and experience. Finally, you’ll gain insight into the interview process.

Preparing for a job interview can be tedious. You should expect to research the company, the needs of the organization as well as prepare answers to commonly asked interview questions. The interview is a way to assess your suitability against other candidates and also determine if you fit into the company’s mission, vision and values.

Be sure you know what the dress code is for the organization and the industry, and dress appropriately for the interview. Research the position thoroughly. It will help you provide detailed answers and ask the right questions. You should demonstrate your passion and knowledge of the internship position; the company’s products, services, and mission; and pertinent industry trends. Check out the interview guide for more information on this step.

A resume and cover letter are essential components of a successful internship application. While you can certainly use templates to help craft these documents, especially the cover letter, you must always personalize each document for the specific position to which you’re applying. Employers expect the application materials they receive to be customized because they know generic applications are often submitted by candidates who lack initiative and interest in the position.

When you submit a resume, the detail and degree in which it is written can either help or hurt your chances of getting the job. It is important that you take time to write your resume as it is one of the most important documents that you will submit to a potential employer. That’s why it’s important to make sure that this document is free of any mistakes and that it highlights your strengths and qualifications.

A resume is a reflection of yourself. It highlights your work experience, educational experience, skills, and accomplishments. In addition to boasting your accolades, resume writing begins with an objective and a target audience in mind.

The portfolio is an important element of a successful internship application. In order to stand out from other applicants, make sure that the projects and deliverables presented in your portfolio are the best possible examples of your work. It should represent your personality, but also be accurate and truthful. It’s very difficult to get past a mediocre portfolio without an in-person interview, so make it count. The main goal of a portfolio is to prove both competence and self-motivation, so do not disappoint!

Your portfolio should consist of your most well-written or impressive projects, regardless of format. It does not have to relate to the internship, and keep in mind that depending on the organization you are applying, they may ask for a copy of your portfolio with your application.

Once you’ve identified which companies you’re interested in, start applying early . This will give you the best chance of getting a position in your desired industry. If you want to work for one company in particular, make sure to check their website for information on hiring events and dates (many begin their recruiting process in the spring). Applying early is especially important if there is a particular position or type of internship that interests you; once these positions are filled, many companies will stop accepting resumes altogether.

Since many candidates are seeking summer jobs, April and May are the busiest months for internship applications. If possible, submit your application as soon as the position becomes available. Most organizations start accepting applications for summer internships over the fall and then notify qualified candidates over winter break. A year-round internship with rolling admissions offers an alternative to the highly competitive summer positions.

How To Succeed As An Intern

While internships are primarily for students’ benefit, they need to generate value for employers as well. The remaining chapters shed more light on the strategies you can apply to optimize your performance and build a strong foundation for future opportunities.

The transition period before the internship begins should be used to become familiar with the company culture and policy. Make sure you ask as many questions as possible. There is friendly competition in all work settings, but supervisors, personnel, and other interns generally welcome inquiries and offer guidance wherever possible.

In return for valuable, hands-on training and real-world experiences, companies expect interns to perform menial tasks. Success in the internship world comes down to being enthusiastic about the grunt work. By demonstrating proficiency in their basic duties, the interns have a better chance of being promoted.

When cultivating work relationships, you should go the extra mile to assist colleagues. You should schedule regular meetings with your supervisor to clarify expectations and confirm deadlines. Volunteer to do extra work as long as it is within reason, but be sure to complete assignments correctly and on time. Finally, the best interns will ask for feedback from superiors and colleagues. Accept any criticism with grace and apply the lessons to future assignments.

When you’re on your internship, remember that you are still a student. You have a lot of knowledge to soak up from the experienced professionals around you, and lots of skills to learn. Now is the time to ask specific and appropriate questions of your colleagues and supervisors so you can get every chance possible to grow during your internship and succeed afterwards.

Internships provide valuable training and experience. However, for students to take full advantage of the opportunity, they must push themselves beyond their immediate roles and learn about the perspectives, skills, and knowledge held by other roles in the organization. Done correctly, internships will strengthen an individual’s résumé and portfolio as well as boost future job prospects.

Consider your internships, whether paid or unpaid, to be actual jobs with professional and personal expectations. Wear appropriate attire and arrive on time. Maintain a friendly, professional demeanor at all times. Greet and converse with coworkers, but avoid gossip and office politics.

In the age of social media, where people face backlash and lose jobs for incendiary tweets, you must cultivate a professional online presence. Make sure that your Facebook and Twitter pages are clean and that your LinkedIn page is up to date. Being professional also entails turning off your phone while on the job, unless a task expressly requires it.

In addition to formal introductions, you should socialize with your colleagues as needed to foster camaraderie. Work friendships can help you succeed in your internship while also laying the groundwork for future career entry and advancement. Work friendships can be formed by completing your own tasks and assisting others with theirs. At the same time, your coworkers will regard you as helpful, hardworking, and trustworthy.

One very important aspect of a successful internship program is the development of work friendships with both colleagues and supervisors. These relationships will allow you to develop expertise that will assist you in the future. You should engage in social exchanges at appropriate times, such as after work or on breaks, and make an effort to develop friendships.

Attend every social and networking event that your organization organizes. Pursue mentorships, which frequently emerge from working relationships between interns and their colleagues/supervisors. Concentrate your efforts on those who have a vested interest in your success. Invite potential mentors to coffee or lunch (while maintaining workplace propriety). For more tips on cultivating a lasting mentorship, check out this networking guide.

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