5 Tips to Score your Dream Internship

Whether internships are a requirement of your degree programme or not, summer is a great time to get work experience before graduation. The perks of interning are obvious, but what exactly do you need to score the internship of your dreams?

  1. Get Your Resume Right

resume

Even before you even start looking for a job, craft your resume. Every word counts, and if your resume isn’t impressive, you won’t even get that call for an interview.

Different resumes work for different industries, so look for a general template/ structure that you like and google resumes specific to your intended industry. A resume that works for a law firm will not get you a job as a designer. If you don’t know where to start, ask your friends who’ve interned before to send you a copy of theirs.

Next, keep your resume short and zoom in on relevant experience. If you’re fresh out of JC and you have no experience to speak of, don’t be tempted to list every single one of your school activities. Always remember, quality over quantity. Your employer does not need to know that you were class monitor in Sec 3.

Lastly, write a specific objective for every company you send your resume to, so it won’t seem generic and mass-sent. Also, it doesn’t hurt to attach a photo if you’re confident of your looks, but otherwise it’s not a must. 

  1. Start your search

Many schools have a career office or internship programmes that they can link you up with, even if it isn’t compulsory for your course. Applying through your academic office is always the best choice because the school can protect you just in case complications with your employer arise. Also, school internships are not applicable to CPF deductions, so you get to earn your keep.

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Otherwise, you can self-source by surfing InternSG and Indeed.com.sg. Normal application procedures apply, but read your contract very carefully before signing it because you are wholly responsible for your internship.

  1. Narrow it down!

Finding internships isn’t the hard part, it’s deciding what you want to get out of your internship that’s a little more complicated.

If this is your first time interning or you need this internship to graduate, I’d recommend that you don’t be too fussy with the kind of company or pay you’re getting. It’s a privilege to work for anyone given your lack of experience, and you’ve the luxury of time to figure out whether this is what you really want to do or not in the future.

narrow it down

If you’ve had scraps of experience here and there, and probably won’t have another chance to intern before getting a full-time job, try to be a little pickier. Only apply for jobs that you feel would help you in your future job search. Test the waters in an industry that you wish to pursue in the future, or delve deeper into something you’ve enjoyed before.

  1. Apply for more than one internship 

This seems pretty obvious, but how many resumes should you be sending out? I’d recommend sending out your resume to 5 first, then a few more if the odds don’t look good from those first 5 within the next 2 weeks. It’s just easier to keep track of replies and schedule interviews that way. You should eventually get 1-2 replies from every 5 you send out.

  1. Nail that interview

Always be well-prepared. Read up on the company, view their website and corporate profiles, form an opinion even before you get in that door. You may be asked provide ideas and suggestions for improvement based on the company’s current status or think of marketing ideas on the spot. Don’t be stumped when you get such questions and answer thoughtfully.

nail that interview

Most importantly, be the best version of yourself. There’s no point acting like someone you’re not just to fit into a company, only to realise you absolutely hate it when you’re there. Just as how the company is assessing whether you fit the job, you should use the interview to decide if they’re a good fit for you. Once you put that into perspective, there’s nothing to be nervous about. Now go in there and wing it!

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Chloe Tong is currently an English major in Nanyang Technological University. She has written for online and offline publications, such as Singapore Press Holdings’ My Paper. She is also a member of Burn After Reading SG, a collective for young and emerging poets in Singapore. Read more of her works at www.chloecake.blogspot.com

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