A guide to securing an internship

Internships can provide an edge in the job market, but securing one requires some work.
Last Updated : 08 April 2024, 23:05 IST
Last Updated : 08 April 2024, 23:05 IST

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Internships play an important role in initiating students into the professional world. With the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 in place, internships have become increasingly important in education and upskilling. The NEP 2020 mandates the integration of internships into undergraduate curricula to bolster academic learning with skill-based learning.

Internships are an opportunity for students and graduates to gain work experience and a great way to explore potential areas of interest. Pursuing a relevant internship allows students to apply their academic knowledge and aptitude in a real-world setting. Internships can also provide a competitive edge when applying for job opportunities.

With a proper plan and relevant strategies, you can find and apply for suitable internships and advance in your careers. Here’s how you can begin: 

Decide your field of interest: Internships offer a unique opportunity to explore different career fields. They allow you to experiment and discover what you enjoy, what motivates you, and what challenges you. For instance, if you are studying for a graduate degree in commerce and are interested in digital marketing, you can explore the domain by applying for internships in digital marketing. You can enrol in a short-term course and get started to meet the eligibility criteria in such a scenario.

Personalise your resume: After identifying job opportunities that align with your interests, prepare a personalised resume according to the vacancy advertised by the company. Most employers use an application tracking system (ATS) to shortlist applications. Therefore, it is crucial to carefully read the job description to find keywords that match your skillset and incorporate them into your resume. 

Bonus tip: Add a cover letter to your resume stating your interest and passion for the role. Use this opportunity to showcase your uniqueness and highlight why you would make a good fit for the position and the organisation.

Look for vacancies and apply: Once you have settled on a field of interest, look for internships on any job search portal like LinkedIn, Inetrnshala, Indeed, etc. Your aim should be to find opportunities that allow you to learn, grow, and explore the domain better.

Get a recommendation letter: Did you know a recommendation letter can improve your chances of getting hired by 61%? It gives employers a credible account of your abilities, achievements, personality traits, and work ethic. You can contact your professors, head of college or university, or former employers to get a recommendation letter.

Follow up periodically: After interviewing for an internship, follow up to inquire about the status. A formal email to the hiring manager or the person in charge will help showcase your interest in the role. You can increase your chances of getting hired by consistent efforts and sticking to a plan of action.

Apply for multiple opportunities: The competition for landing good internships is just as high as the same for getting jobs. So, be open to applying for as many internships as you can. Based on the callbacks you get, formulate a list of opportunities that balance your interests and expertise, and curate your resume and cover letter based on the vacancy. 

Build core skills: Communicating your transferable skills to the employer effectively can indicate your career readiness even if you lack formal work experience. So, participate in events at various college societies, do some volunteering work, or look for part-time opportunities.

Hone your technical skills: Recruiters will gauge your suitability for the job based on how you perform in written tests and interviews. So, ensure you have a solid grasp of the technical concepts necessary for the job. Prepare answers to common interview questions and research the company and industry. Also, remember to practise talking about your skills and qualifications chronologically for the interview. 

(The author is the founder and CEO of Internshala.com which helps DH compile the internship section of the Bulletin Board)

Published 08 April 2024, 23:05 IST

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