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Top Tips To Help You Secure That Digital Internship
Posted on August 26th 2013
It’s no secret that internships are pretty essential when it comes to getting valuable hands-on experience and your foot in the door of any industry… and it’s safe to say that that’s definitely the case when it comes to the digital sector.
Now, as you can see from our Portal, digital internships are everywhere at the moment but that doesn’t mean they’re plentiful or easy to get. In fact, digital internships these days are a bit like one Willy Wonka’s sneaky Golden Tickets – everyone wants them but unfortunately there just aren’t enough to go around.
That said, there’s no reason why you can’t get an internship in the digital sector – after all, the positions are out there so someone has to get them! At the end of the day, it all comes down to enthusiasm, work ethic, personality and raw talent and getting all that across in the right way.
Now, while we can’t actually help you find the perfect internship, we can give you a few helpful pointers on how to find and apply for an internship – both in and out of the digital sector.
First up, it goes without saying really but in order to be able to apply for an internship, you have to find one first! It’s no good looking for internship opportunities a few weeks before you want it to start. Why? Because they will have already gone! Unlike full-time jobs, employers normally start advertising their internships and apprenticeships months in advance so you need to make sure you’re on the ball and ready. Research the companies you’d like to intern for, find out if they have an internship and make a note of when they’re accepting applications.
What’s that? It doesn’t say anywhere? Well, then you’d better ask! Seriously, you’re not going to lose anything by asking – and in fact, you have everything to gain! You never know, the HR manager might make a note that you were enthusiastic and organised which might just help when you send your application in!
Found the perfect internship? Sorry but that doesn’t mean you should stop looking! Like we said earlier, internships are scarce and incredibly valuable so it’s really not a good idea to put your eggs in one basket and only apply for one! When it comes to finding internships, just like full-time jobs, it’s all about being organised. Find out which recruiters and organisations advertise vacancies and follow them on things like Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Facebook to make sure you don’t miss out!
When you’ve tracked down the internships you’re interested in, it’s time to get applying! Now, applying for an internship can be a lot trickier than applying for a full-time position? Why? Because you’ve not necessarily got the work history or qualifications to back your application up. This means you may need to focus more on your personal qualities, interests and personality in your cover letter and application. That said, your qualifications are still going to play a part – so even if they don’t necessarily relate directly to the internship you’re applying for, it’s up to you to make them relevant!
When applying for internships, you need to get the right balance. Yes, you need to say how the internship’s going to benefit you and how it could benefit your future career – but you also need to say what you can bring to the company and what you can bring to the table. Think about it; an internship is an investment on both the part of the employer and the intern – so you need to try and make a compelling case for why the employer should invest in you. Just to clarify, we’re not saying you have to come up with an Apprentice-style business proposal – but you should definitely put some time, effort and consideration into your application.
Once you’ve sent your application off (way ahead of the deadline of course!), it’s time to follow-up. First up, a week or so after sending your application in, take a few minutes to call or email the company in question to check they got your application. It’s definitely worth going through with this initial follow-up because it will show the employer you’re keen and conscientious – two attributes they’re definitely looking for in an intern. Remember, it’s all about making your application stand out.
Although we’ve got full confidence that you’re going to get the internship, there’s always a chance you won’t. If you end up missing out on a position, again, it’s definitely worth following up for a bit of feedback on your application. 9 times out of 10 it might have just missed out because they preferred someone else’s application, but it’s worth asking because there’s a chance you might have made a massive mistake on your application which might affect your chances of bagging a future internship. Listen to the feedback you get and be sure to apply it to your next application.
The important thing to remember when you don’t get an internship is that it’s not personal. Like we said earlier, there are loads of willing interns and a limited amount of vacancies – so someone’s always going to miss out. It sounds a bit corny but every failed application takes you closer to a successful one – so don’t give up! Remember, all it takes is one ‘yes.’