The secret to securing an internship with no experience is that there is no such thing as no experience.
While employers may be reluctant at first to hire someone less experienced, you can show how you have developed the soft skills they are looking for without having been in a corporate environment.
Create Your Resume
The first thing you will need when applying to internships is a great resume.
The number one goal of your resume is to get you an interview. Many sources suggest that your resume has anywhere between 6 to 30 seconds to please a recruiter.
Since you are just starting out, if your resume is longer than 1 page, you are already behind in the game. Having this limit helps you edit out the noise and focus on the part that will stand out in those 6-second resume reviews by employers.
The second most crucial thing is the formatting of your resume. Believe it or not, a lot depends on the formatting and the way you present the information on your resume.
For example, if you are using a design template with artistic touches and applying to a company that uses an ATS database for application parsing, your application will probably never see the light of day.
Everything Is Experience
A big mistake that people with no direct work experience or new graduates make is thinking they don’t have any work experience. Truth is, anything can be a relevant experience if you explain what you’ve learned and emphasize how those skills will help you do the job.
For example, if the internship requires advertising budget management, you can explain to the employer how you were the treasurer for your math club and how that helped you develop budget allocation skills.
What Employers Want
While many employers are looking for experience from a resume, what employers are really looking for is the confidence that you can do the job.
The only way you can assure them is by exuding confidence in both your resume and your interview. Read every single keyword of the job description and really focus on highlighting those characteristics throughout your interview process.
People need to hear something multiple times for them to remember it, so don’t be afraid to give diverse examples portraying similar skills and expertise.
Get On Social Media
One of the easiest ways you can make yourself more approachable is by having an active social media presence.
If you are just starting out on a social platform, follow like-minded people and those interested in your field to get a feel of the platform before you begin to post.
Once you are past the beginner steps, follow recruiters in your industry to see what job and internship advice they have to offer. This will help you understand what pleases recruiters as well as how your field is evolving.
Just Keep Applying
Many people believe that internship applications should be about quality, not quantity so you should apply to a few companies and do it well.
That’s not always the case.
Following such advice can often lead to candidates being attached to a couple of opportunities that might not pan out. So don’t apply to a handful of companies a month and call it a day. Find a number of suitable opportunities and apply with your best efforts to each one.
Hiring timelines can be crazy long so there are ways you can get your decision earlier. Most industries recommend that applicants should email their interviewer two days after the interview and two weeks after.
Your first email should be a “thank you” email that serves as a reminder of the great interview you had and can often get you an update on the hiring process. Your second email should be two weeks after the interview that follows up, expresses your excitement and asks for a timeline update if you don’t have one already.
These emails show the recruiters that you care about this role, and also relieve you of some anxiety till you wait for the decision.
It is important to remember that just because you don’t have work experience, does not always mean that you are not qualified for the internship role that you are eyeing.
Work hard on your resume and be professional during the interview as these are the things that will get you the job.