How to Get an Internship: 11 Ways to Stand Out

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Originally published May 18, 2021
How to Get an Internship: 11 Ways to Stand Out

Where do you want to see yourself after finally receiving your college diploma? Let me guess, you are not sure yet. All you wanted to achieve right now is to attend career fairs and find internship opportunities from companies that offer internship programs for college students like you. That is, of course, if you have a winning resume - resume writing help comes in handy but more on that later. 

Believe it or not, you are very lucky! There are various tricks that are available to help you get through the application process. 

Build an Impressive Resume and Cover Letter

Writing a resume can be tricky sometimes. An impressive resume doesn't mean you need to be lengthy. You can write a great resume by focusing on the following:

  • Draft your professional profile, lists your achievements, current academic status, skills;
  • Add your extracurricular activities and include your role and responsibilities.

Now that you have a draft, you can utilize the online CV builder services. Yes, you heard it right, you can build your curriculum vitae or brief information about you, your educational background, qualification, previous work (if any) with the help of online services. If you're interested, it's only one of the many services Studybay offers.

Treat your first internship as your first job. 

Create a LinkedIn Account and Start Building Connections

Internalize that this is not the typical part-time job but a full-time job. Creating a LinkedIn account can be a tool to stand out from the competition. Why? Potential employers also create their business accounts which you can easily learn about their companies. 

Linkedin is more than a job search site or online career center but is also a social media site for professionals. Even if you got an internship from another source, creating a LinkedIn account nowadays is an advantage because it means you are building a professional profile that can be more searchable and accessible. 

The fun part is that as you grow your network and update your profile, a better opportunity finds you instead of you finding them. 

Listen to Professional Advice About Internship Interview

How? 

  • Find someone like your parents, friends, teachers or other people you know that are already working. 
  • Ask them for tips and advice on how to answer some common interview questions and share their experience during their job interview. 
  • Ask them to do a mock interview with you. They act as a hiring manager, and you pretend to be the applicant. 
  • Watch informational interviews and join forums or job search sites that offer professional advice.

Attend More Than Two Interviews

The reason behind this is that you can learn how the interview process goes in the real-world setup of each company. You will notice that they have different interview styles. Some ask difficult questions, others may ask questions relating to your personal background. 

Showing up to at least two company interviews can give you the confidence for the next. If you feel you fail to answer in a timely manner, you are more prepared for the next one.

Follow Up 

Don't feel disappointed if you did not receive an email or call regarding the status of your application. This is a real-world experience for all job seekers. Start drafting a follow-up email instead. Most companies have dedicated people to respond. With this, you can experience drafting professional emails, and eventually, you can use this when you start your internship. 

Another way to follow up is by calling the human resources department. It is still different when you talk to professionals - unconsciously, you can also build your confidence over the phone.

Be on Time

Be on time, all the time. Starting at least 15 minutes makes a big difference.

To value the time of the company means you value their workflow. Meeting their deadlines is why their business is existing. Being consistently on time will really give you a big edge. This shows how you respect their policies, be it a fixed or flexible schedule, it is important to show your colleagues that you are around to learn, help, and share your knowledge. You will also meet talented people with transferable skills and those who are willing and passionate to share their talent and skills.

This trick will give you an advantage not only to be noticed but to show that you wanted to learn more. You can make it a habit to start at least 15 minutes before your shift. Make your internship experience as meaningful as possible.

Be Dapper or Chic

Make a lasting impression. What you are wearing will have an impact on what attitude you wanted to convey. It does not mean you need to buy expensive clothes. In other words, make sure that confidence reflects on how you wear your office attire, how you tie your necktie, and how consistently neat you are. 

Your goal is how you can show your oozing confidence but stays low-key. Balance the former and the latter and assure you people will love you.

Ask, Do Not Assume

You are given a task to create a professional template for a PowerPoint presentation as a test task. However, your boss did not give instructions on the requirements or standards. 

At this point, you don't know what to do. Do not assume. There are thousands of templates available online, but you really need to get the requirements. Ask for help - if your boss is too busy, you have your colleagues to ask for help. 

Do not pretend that you know everything. Companies have certain standards when it comes to presentations, most especially on any documents that appear on their logo or company name.

Be Proactive, Never Reactive

Being proactive is the ability to analyze a situation before it happens. If you are a proactive person, you are in control of the situation that can be avoided. But some we tend to choose to be reactive. But in a professional environment, being reactive can cause harm. As much as possible, start changing your perspective and transform it into being proactive.

Challenge Yourself, Ask About a Paid Internship

Although unpaid internships can also provide an experience to you, it is lenient and puts less pressure on interns. But a paid internship can pay off your effort. Because you will receive a salary, you will be treated as an employee. 

As an employee, you should be more responsible with your actions and in accordance with the company standards. If you stood out from other interns and you realized that you wanted to have a permanent job, you will not need to attend a job fair, and the company can offer you a job offer.

Set Your Goals

Your summer internship may be over in a month or so, but setting your goals before, during, and after your internship can give you an edge over other interns. Make a list of your goals and set your priorities. You have to understand your reason and purpose for entering into an internship. Make sure that the career field you chose will be a relevant experience when it is time to find a job.

Final Thoughts

After you stop the internship search, you no longer check the job boards. Let's say you finally got accepted, and you are set to start your paid internship program in two weeks. You feel the excitement and nervousness. You found out that they hire interns from Ivy League schools, and that makes you more nervous. 

Relax, take a deep breath and show confidence to unleash your potential. The recruiter might have seen you as the next Elon Musk or the next Mark Zuckerberg. You were not accepted just because they picked your name, but they saw something special about you. Prove them right!

Tasha Kolesnikova
Content Team Member

I write articles and do SEO-optimisation here at Studybay. I'm obsessed with creating content both people and Google love, surfing in Portugal, and dancing Jazz-funk.