Finding an internship: The 3-Step guide to save time and effort.
When it comes to a job search, it usually involves sitting in front of your computer screen with lots of clicking and scrolling. It’s pointless if you are unsure of what kind of career to pursue – mindlessly applying will only lead you to being rejected or left with no response.
Here’s a 3-Step guide to succeed in that internship application! Not only will it save you time and effort, you can be sure that you won’t miss a single episode of your favourite Netflix shows throughout.
#1. Know What You Want
Remember that mixed rice stall and its 20-30 types of delicious dishes? They all look appetizing and delicious, but you can’t possibly pick a little bit of everything – it’ll come with a hefty price tag and an additional few kilograms.
The same applies to choosing a career. Have you ever heard of an accountant, who is also a journalist and a doctor at the same time? Every career has its outstanding qualities, which makes choosing a profession extremely mind-boggling.
The first step to figuring what you really want is to make sure that it is both something you enjoy and something that aligns with reality.
“I want a career that will allow me to retire at 30!”
“I aspire to become a space fighter pilot with my history degree, because I love Star Wars!”
Nope. Try to be more realistic.
Instead, use the 4Ps to help you!
● Passion: Is it something you will enjoy? Can this passion be maintained?
● Potential: What are your strengths? Can this career optimize your potential?
● Personal: What values do you uphold?
● Practical: Can this career help to sustain you?
Asking yourself these questions might give you a sense of a ‘mid-life crisis’, but it will be worth it when you grasp a clearer picture of the career you desire. Internships will therefore be a good place to have hands-on experience in these areas of interest to discover what you really want in future.
#2. Write a strong resume
You could be extremely talented and bright, but just because of a terrible resume, you might have lost an opportunity in becoming shortlisted.
The purpose of a resume is to highlight your strengths and achievements to your potential employers, something they can scan through easily in the span of a minute or less.
However, nowadays, because employers receive hundreds of resumes per job opening, many are tapping onto the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to help them effectively identify the best candidates from that huge pile. This implies that even one small spelling or formatting error could send your resume straight to the bin.
So, how to please the resume-reading robot?
● Keep it simple and straightforward
● No need for fancy fonts or cute borders
● Highlight achievements, not duties
● Stick to bullet points rather than long paragraphs: it will help reduce grammatical and spelling errors
If you need more assistance in perfecting your resume, MatcHub offers resume audits at a student-friendly price of S$5! Our team provides detailed feedback to help polish your resume to make sure no opportunity shall be missed! Register for an account and complete your profile for the resume audit!
#3. Narrow the internship search
Now that you know what you want and have a standard resume ready, you can finally move to the last step, which is applying to the internships that matter to you!
It doesn’t matter whether you search through your university’s career portal or find recommendations from your friends, family and professors. What matters is to remember your career plan and narrow the options that will help fulfil it.
Look at the internship descriptions and ask yourself these three questions:
- Do I meet its requirements?
- Is there something I am interested in learning from this internship?
- Will it help me achieve some of my personal goals?
If you get a green light from all three, go ahead and apply! Here’s where you can also slightly adjust your resume to fit the internship requirements by using similar keywords, but it does not mean that you should copy the job description word-for-word.
Copying a job description may slide you past the AI screening, but once a potential employer sees it, they might think that the only thing you can do is Ctrl C and Ctrl V, and it’ll undoubtedly be rejected.
The recommended number of internships to apply to should be at around 10-20 applications per two to three weeks. This will ensure that you won’t be overwhelmed if you are suddenly called up for multiple interviews.
Lastly, Stay Positive!
Searching for an internship can be demoralizing, and nobody likes being rejected or left with no response. Sometimes, it might not even be your fault! Some people secure an internship with connections, and others, with tons of experience, might have applied as well.
Therefore, it is important to still keep your head up and not let these small setbacks affect you. Never give up, talk to your loved ones, and remember that there will definitely be a day when you will receive an offer.
The road to embarking on your career journey starts today. Are you ready to take action?
PS. If you are still worried about not securing an internship, keep calm and sign up with MatcHub! It is our mission to help students like you find a best-fit internship that will fulfill your goals and aspirations.