Securing an internship/job
Hello all, I hope everyone is well and getting more and more settled into their daily uni routines now! As we have just passed the midway point of term 1 and with internship/job application season well underway, I thought it would be good to talk to you all about how best to approach this stressful time.
A common mistake that many people make is rushing into things too quickly. There is a lot of pressure on young people nowadays to find a job quickly, or to apply for internships as soon as possible. But this can be a dangerous mindset to withhold. It’s all well and good to be ahead of the crowd and get your applications in before everyone else, but it’s pointless if you don’t even know what you’re applying for, or if you don’t truly know what you want to do. I’ve been in the position numerous times where I’ve seen loads of my friends post about their successes on LinkedIn and heard about their offers. Naturally, this would motivate and encourage others to leap at the opportunity for sending in their applications. But it’s important to take a step back and really evaluate what it is you want to do, and how best to get this experience. Not all successes and achievements are overt – do what will make you happy, and not what will receive the most LinkedIn reactions.
Acknowledging how arduous the process is, is really key in all of this. Many people apply to more than 100 companies – this takes time – never underestimate the amount of effort this will take up. Remember that you are ultimately at university to get your degree, at the end of all of this. If you put your applications ahead of your studies, you risk hindering your academic attainment and getting behind. Instead of just rushing to apply to as many places as possible, take the time to understand exactly what it is that you want to do. Research different roles, look into different companies – there is no harm in going for more niche, smaller start-ups – not everything is centred around the most renowned firms.
Having your CV already drafted out is key. Always keep adding to this every now and then; take out bits that are not as relevant or as impressive. Also, bear in mind that your CV does not have to be the same for every company or for every role – tailor your resume to what it is that you’re applying for. You need to impress the reviewer, talk about your experiences and skills that are most appropriate for that particular vacancy.
Cover letters take time. I’d advise you to have a generic cover letter that can be adapted for change depending on what you’re applying for. This will make your life so much easier. Having a basis and coherent structure is super helpful, because all you need to do is to find out the specifics about your company and role, and then add this to the document – it saves so much time, trust me!
Finally, NETWORK! Talking to people is really important. At university, you meet such an array of individuals – capitalise on this. You will soon realise that many people out there want to help you with your journeys – don’t shy away from utilising all of your resources and asking the necessary questions to get you where you want to be!
Good luck and I hope this helps 😊