Internship: Why am I not getting any replies?

This is probably your nth time applying for an internship. If you’re looking at this article, you are probably frustrated at not getting any replies. You spend countless hours crafting cover letters and sending out emails to companies, only to find yourself not getting any replies from them. You start thinking if you are competent enough to land yourself an internship role. You begin to ask yourself: Why am I not getting any replies? Fret not, there is still light at the end of the tunnel. For every rejection you face, it gives you the opportunity to find out what was wrong and turn the situation around.

Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash

#1 – A cold application will not work in your favour

When you are not landing any interviews, consider the numbers. On average, corporate job internship opening will have 250 applications. Out of these 250 applicants, 5 will be interviewed. That works out to a 2% chance for an interview at the company. However, that is already considered a conservative estimate. Given such numbers, the odds are not in your favour. Sending out a cold application and waiting for them to get back to you will not clinch the job.

Instead of waiting for companies to get back to you make the first move! Be proactive in communicating with them, send them an email, add people on Linkedin or ask for people in your network who are working in those companies for referrals. Reaching out to companies gives you a better chance of clinching an interview rather than sending out cold applications.

Lesson: Don’t waste your time with a cold application. Be resourceful and find alternative ways to get yourself recognised.

#2 – You’ve sent out generic materials

Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash

For most internship roles, companies receive thousands of resumes and cover letters. If you are going to 

send a generic resume and cover letter, they will be no different from the thousands of applications that recruiters receive. You have to be intentional about every resume and cover letter you send. For them to be taken seriously, it needs to be free of errors. Before you send out your application, get someone to proofread for you! Also, you will have to tailor your resume and cover letter specifically for the positions that you have applied for. This means reading the job description carefully and including some of the key traits that they are looking out for in your materials. In your cover letter, explain how your experiences and challenges make you the most suitable person for the role. Having your resume and cover letter more targeted will make you stand out from the other candidates.

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#3 – You have limited yourself

Sometimes, you may have limited yourself to certain companies or industries which may end up hindering your process of finding an internship that suits you. For example, if you are interested in consulting, don’t get yourself too caught up with not clinching that internship with McKinsey. Most of the time, other companies and roles have similar scope of work and opportunities to hone skillsets that are needed for consulting. Explore your options and apply to as many relevant roles as possible to increase your chances of attaining a positive outcome. Even consider other countries or industries in your process of securing an internship! Expanding your outlook will increase the possibility of finding the best fit.

That being said, you should not apply to companies you are not interested in. Don’t apply for the sake of applying. You have to get an internship that will value-add to your experiences and set you on track to your desired career path.

Many students are comfortable applying to many jobs at once, but you must take targeted action in your job search process if you want to turnaround your situation. Once you’ve figured out your pitfalls, actively make that change. It may be a lot of work but it will definitely be worth it when you clinch the internship role that you’ve always dreamed of having!

Photo by Lin Mei on Unsplash

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