Internships help you gain experience and skills in a specific career field and increases your chances of finding employment as you are given the opportunity to make connections with others in the workplace.
Internships are highly competitive so it important that your application is prepared to the highest quality so that you may stand out among your peers and secure the position.
Here are some of the mistakes to avoid when applying for an internship.
Applying for an internship that is not related to your career goals
Most of the time people apply for internships when they are wanting to gain experience after completing a qualification in the field they are applying for. Applying for an internship that is unrelated to your qualification or career goals may result in you not landing the position and wasting your time and resources.
Applying for a multiple internships at the same time
It is better to apply for a few internships at a time to ensure that your application is of the highest quality and will land you multiple interviews where you will get the chance to secure the internship.
Applying with the same CV and cover letter
When applying to different positions at different companies it is important that you customize your CV and your cover letter to the company. You must research the company and the position you are applying for so that you present information that shows that you are perfectly suited to the position and the company. This will better your chances of securing that internship.
Failing To Follow Instructions
Companies have their own process of application for internships so it is important that you follow the instructions set out by the company when applying to avoid being rejected before they've even seen how qualified you are for the position.
Make sure to read through the instructions carefully on how to apply and what to submit along with your application.
It is very important that you proofread your application, CV and any other documents you submit in your application for an internship to ensure that there aren't any spelling errors or any other errors with the layout. This is because mistakes can make you look careless and incompetent and many companies disregard applications once they find errors.
Not being well-prepared for the interview
When you are invited for an interview it means that the company was impressed with your application, however showing up without having done research or preparing for interview questions may result in you not landing the internship. It is important to practice answering common interview questions, arrive on time to the interview and be polite and confident throughout.
Applying for an internship may seem intimidating but avoiding these mistakes will increase your chances of landing your dream internship position.
FAQs about Internships
Are all internships paid?
- No, not all internships are paid. The payment structure varies based on the industry, company, and region. Some internships offer stipends, while others may provide perks like free meals or transportation. It's essential to clarify the terms before accepting an internship.
Can I get academic credit for my internship?
- Many academic institutions recognize the value of internships and offer academic credit for them. However, this usually requires prior arrangement with the institution and might entail additional tasks like writing a report or giving a presentation.
How do I find internships?
- Internships can be found through various channels: university career centers, job fairs, online job portals, company websites, or networking events. Leveraging personal connections can also lead to potential opportunities.
Is it essential to have an internship related to my major?
- While it's beneficial to have an internship in your field of study, exploring different areas can provide a broader perspective and might unveil interests you didn't know you had.
What if I don’t enjoy my internship?
- It's essential to communicate any issues with your supervisor or mentor. Sometimes, adjustments can be made to enhance your experience. If it's not a good fit, it's still a learning opportunity about what you might want (or not want) in a future job.