In today’s uber-competitive job market, scoring a full-time role with next to no experience can be near impossible. As a student or recent graduate, internships are a crucial way of building up your experience and practical industry knowledge. It also gives you a chance of testing the waters of the working world and gives you a taste of what working in that industry may be like. And you never know, a few months of interning could translate into a full-time role within the company.
Tip One: PERSONALISATION IS KEY!
Cover letters are a must and they are the perfect way to display to a company how much you would like to work for them. Sending off 100’s of impersonal generic covering letters will not make yours a stand out application that HR personals and companies love. Take some time to learn a little about the company that you're applying for, what their ethos is and any similarities that you may share with the company. Including these similarities and personal touches within your covering letter will give you that extra edge.
In addition, don’t be afraid to go beyond the typical printed or digital document/PDF. Lukas Yla even posed as a donut delivery man to get inside marketing agencies to try and land a job. Remember to think outside the box, or in Lukas’ case, what could be inside the box.
Tip Two: Speculative, Speculative, Speculative
Just because there is no current job opening at a company that you desire to work for, doesn’t mean that they are not open to taking someone on board. Send off a speculative application and get your foot in the door. Even if you get a response and they don’t have the capacity to take anybody on board now, keep the conversation alive. This will ensure that they remember you when they are hiring and can only increase your chances of them wanting to meet you.
Tip Three: Small is sometimes much bigger than you believe
Don’t ignore the little man. Many small businesses/companies are willing to take interns on, and even though this may require you to click on the second page of your google search of “London PR Companies”, it is worth the click. Many people also believe that they get a more in-depth, thrown in the deep end and experience when working for smaller companies, as there is a more “we’re all in this together” vibe (shout out to the trusted Disney High School musical quote).
Tip Four: Ask questions & Ask for help
Asking for questions, help and advice is the best thing you can do if you’re unsure about something. Many hours have probably been lost to work conducted under misunderstood instructions, and it’s somewhat painful to see it all go down the drain (or dragged to the digital trash bin) because you carried out your task on a whim. People are always willing to help and are (most of the time) less intimidating than you may believe - make use of your colleagues and their knowledge and know how.
Tip Five: Be Yourself
Yes! Be yourself. Your social, positive, enthusiastic, daring self. Venture into the unknown, and don’t always stay in your comfort zone. There will be tasks that you may not originally understand or have never done before, but this is all part of the learning process, and can only widen your knowledge and skills. Certain tasks and pieces of work may not be as interesting as others, but power through them, as positivity is an excellent attribute and attitude that can both impress and motivate others. Lastly stay social. Interact with your colleagues, lunch with them, attend work socials and events. Socialising and forming friendships with your co-workers will only positively improve your work life.