I remember looking for internships. Most of them had this word that made me cringe – UNPAID.
I have always had an issue with not getting paid for my work. The idea with unpaid internships is that you get “experience” which should be more valuable than being able to eat. Because experience is going to be a great substitute for food.
These days, there are laws against not paying interns. You either have to let them get school credit or pay them at least minimum wage.
How do you secure internships? We talked about the amount of internships available vs the amount of people looking for internships.
Most schools will have portals that will have internships listed. Companies will also have internships listed on job search sites Indeed, careerbuilder and such.
First things first. Research and application. Find out if you know someone who works the companies you are applying at. Reach out to them, see if you can list them as a reference in the application. Then apply online.
If you don’t know anyone at the company, find and build connections with people at those companies. Get to know them. Companies usually have referral programs for employees. And if you get hired your referrer can get a fee.
Apply- this is big. Apply through the job sites, career fairs, company websites.
Now comes standing apart. Find out the HR people or the people incharge of hiring interns. Reach out to them, via LinkedIn, emails, calling them.
What to write? Who you are, what you are reaching out about and why they should look at you. Keep it simple and short and to the point.
When you are leaving a message, speak slowly and let them know your name, the position you are applying for, and your phone number. Repeat your name and phone number twice and slowly.
Make 3 attempts of reaching out and reaching out to multiple people. Don’t overdo it.
After a week or so if you haven’t heard anything, move on. You will either hear from them or not. This is by no means right that you don’t hear from them at all, but be prepared.
We will talk about interviews next.