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How to Get an Internship with No Experience

How to Get an Internship with No Experience

Enrolling on college means that sooner or later, you’ll have to face the fact that you need to get an internship. Internships are extremely important and they’re your main key to getting a glimpse of what work-life looks like, and what being an employee is.

Internships help you learn things that you can never learn at school and help you refine the skills you already have. They’re as close as you can get to experience from the professional and work world, and they’re your first interaction with jobs and employment.

It’s been proven that having a lot of internships up your sleeve will help you secure a job quickly once you graduate. Because of this, it can be really competitive out there, which can make it hard for you to get an internship, especially if you don’t have any experience. So, how do you get an internship with no experience? Here are some of our pro tips for you to get your first internship fast.

Join a club or volunteer

When looking for interns, employers don’t really expect them to be experienced because that’s what internships are for. But it’s always good to have something up your sleeves to offer your employer in order to be able to surpass the competition, right? That’s why volunteering and joining clubs is an advantage.

So, as someone who has no experience, the first thing you can do to improve your chances of getting an internship is to join a club. Clubs are a great way to show companies and organisations that you’re a serious person who studies hard and works hard as well.

Clubs and volunteering show that you’re an active student who likes to help other people and who can get the job done. Extracurricular activities have a lot of advantages, including helping you grow and become a better person. How? Because they will teach you to help other people in need, give back to the community, and get involved in other experiences that will push you outside of your comfort zone.

Let’s say you join “Enactus”, for example. Enactus, formerly known as Students in Enterprise, is a non-profit global organisation dedicated to inspiring students to improve the world through their entrepreneurial actions. Through this specific club, you’d be able to learn so much about entrepreneurship and how to pitch better – these are traits that a businessperson or a manager should have. Employers are aware of these advantages and that’s why they are likely to prefer someone who is involved in a club over someone who has no extracurricular activities.

Start networking

Sometimes it’s not about who you are, what you know, or what you’re good at – sometimes it’s just about whom you know. Networking is very important whether you’re a student or an employee, and it’s one of the main things that help employees or students find jobs and no-experience internships.

Whether you’re looking for paid or unpaid internships with no experience, networking is a great way to do it. That means that once you get the word out that you’re looking for an internship, you’ll automatically be on that primary list of potential interns.

Whether you’re looking for paid internships with no experience, or non-paid no-experience internships, networking is a great way to do it. Let’s say you get the opportunity to meet a company’s CEO or recruitment chair through a club speaker presentation night or through an internship fair. Stay back after their presentation to ask them questions about their job, and to ask for some advice. By taking the initiative and speaking to them first, you are creating a network with someone directly in your field, which means you can call upon this network when it comes to your own internship search. Though they may not be the ones to provide you with the internship, they may know someone who knows someone who is offering one. So, go ahead, start making acquaintances, start attending more events, and start adding people on LinkedIn. You never know when you can get lucky.

Emphasize your skills

If you want to find no-experience internships and surpass the stiff competition that exists out there, then you need to value yourself and show your employers how you’re better than the others. The only way you can do that is by emphasizing your skills.

When creating your resume and cover letter, you need to make it quite clear how you can help the company with your set of skills. Show them why you’re the best asset they could have, and how you plan on improving a certain area in their work.

Emphasize the skills that you know they need or will need. Why? Because not all skills are appreciated. If you’re good at writing, include that in your CV with a link to where employers can find examples of your past work. If you’ve done any marketing projects in the past, create a portfolio online and add a link to it in your resume. Make sure to include everything you’ve achieved because that is proof that you’re good at what you do, and that you’ll bring value to the company.

Be Realistic

Whether you’re looking for a paid or unpaid internship with no experience, there is one simple attitude that you should adopt – and it’s being realistic. Being realistic means knowing what you’re good at, what you’re not good at.

You shouldn’t believe that you’re too good for a job, or that you’re too good for a company. Even very small companies can help you learn things that you won’t be able to learn in the classroom or in big corporations.

The same goes for times when you feel like you’re not good enough for an internship. Ask yourself: what made you think so little of yourself? Is it because you lack the experience? The skills? What exactly? Once you figure out the answer, you’ll be able to improve yourself – by attending classes, going online and teaching yourself, working on projects, or any other thing that can help you out. Never consider yourself to be too good or not good enough for an internship.

Everyone started somewhere, so why not you too?

Final thoughts

Finding internships without having experience might seem hard, or even impossible at times. But it is very possible and can be done by anyone out there. You just have to be able to promote yourself, the right way.
Once you promote yourself the right way, emphasize your skills, and apply all the other tips we’ve mentioned above, you’ll surely find your way into an internship.

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Co-founder and CEO of Capital Placement, a London based global internship programme provider, making international internships easier and more accessible for university students and recent graduates.

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