Almost every student we know shares the same outlook on maintaining a balance between university and work. It’s tough! Landing a great internship is no different. There are so many things to consider when looking for an internship. Where should I look? When can I fit one in? Where will I live? How do I find time to apply to internships? And of course the actual applications themselves, which we know can be a long process. But don’t fret; we’re going to take you through the key steps of landing your dream internship and help you reach your goal.

Look into your options

All students change their minds a couple of times before settling on a career path; this is completely normal. With the amount and variety of jobs out there, we feel your pain. Interning helps you narrow down your options by enabling you to experience different roles to see which jobs best fit your strengths and interests. Start by writing a list of possible internship titles that interest you and look into any roles currently available — whether they’re in your area or somewhere you’d like to move to.

Focus on what makes you great

If you’re stuck on your selling points, ask a friend or tutor to help you list what makes you an awesome candidate. If you have good grades, great! If you have okay grades, highlight your best achievements. Boosting grades takes a lot of time and effort, but passing that upcoming exam or getting a great mark on your next assignment could help you stand out to employers. The internet is home to hundreds of great study platforms. Websites like StuDocu allow you to quickly find resources that help you improve your test scores and grades.

Apply months in advance

Finding and applying for internships takes time. Don’t leave it until the last minute if you’re set on getting an internship with a great company. Know when your deadlines are. Aim to send your applications a week before the deadline; earlier is always better. You definitely don’t want to be rushing and making the application process more stressful than it needs to be!

Cater your application to the employer

Take your time writing your application; employers will notice. Sending the same generic résumé and cover letter to a variety of companies is a quick way to apply, but you probably won’t get an interview. Using the job description for each opportunity, cater your résumé and cover letter to the needs of the job. Those who look through applications are scanning for keywords usually used in the job description, so make sure to edit based on that. Highlighting your most relevant experience and skills will show the employer exactly why you fit the role. Keep it short, simple, and to the point. What do you have to offer? Why are you applying? What excites you about this opportunity? Why should they hire you? Try to answer these questions in your résumé and cover letter.

Don’t be afraid to leave your comfort zone

Have you seen an internship that you would love but it’s in a different city or even a different country? Go for it. The worst thing that could happen after you apply is that you don’t get it. However, if you do get it, the experience you’ll gain from moving to a new place is well worth the scariness and planning. International internships look great on your résumé, and employers enjoy listening to your experiences, too! It will set you apart from the crowd, so take a chance and make the most of each experience.

The more internships, the better. You’ll get the chance to gain lots of new skills and experience multiple roles. Finding out what jobs you don’t like is often more helpful than finding out what jobs you do like. Internships give you the opportunity to try out an industry or even swap industries altogether. You’ll never know if you don’t try.

Written by Phoebe SC from StuDocu.

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