Using Internship Experience to Get Your Dream Job

Job Placement

Almost 91% of employers prefer candidates with real-world work experience. Internships provide this experience while simultaneously lighting an intern’s path toward career success post-graduation. In one internship program, more than 85% of internship students graduated with 2 or more job offers. Understanding how to make the most of your internship experience guarantees better success once you’ve entered the job market. 

Internship Tip #1: Network With Team Members

Chatting and working with new coworkers can be one of the best parts of an internship program. Professional teammates offer unlimited resources both from an experience and networking perspective. For every hand you shake, you compound your professional reach potential indefinitely. 

Take time during your internship program to meet as many people as you can, from cubicle mates and team members to leadership and department heads in other areas of business. Attend team social events and after-work professional opportunities. Try to eat your meals in common areas conducive to in-person socialization. Connect with everyone you meet on LinkedIn and always put your best foot forward during introductions. You never know who your next referral or recommendation will come from!

Internship Tip #2: Gain Confidence

Is there anything worse than first-day-on-the-job jitters? Internships offer exceptional opportunities to skip the pressure and gain confidence. This is your chance to apply your education to real-world scenarios and situations under an educational model of employment. Employers expect interns to need additional assistance and they rarely hold the same expectations of new interns as they do new employees. Take full advantage of this learning modality of work by being inquisitive and asking questions. Proactive learning efforts will help you gain the confidence you need to walk into your first employment position with your head (and skill set) held high. 

Internship Tip #3: Capitalize on Insider Knowledge

Internships provide an opportunity to sneak a peek behind the curtain of the organization. Instead of wondering who we’re working for and what the actual organizational culture is, we get to experience it firsthand. We interact with the personalities and quirks that aren’t represented on a company’s website when researching for interviews. We’re offered the chance to engage in the company’s culture and see whether or not it matches up with our long-term career goals. We witness individual deviations from standard protocol and learn for ourselves how actual internal processes are conducted. 

Such insight is invaluable both in terms of how we align with employment requirements and how we view future career opportunities. 

Internship Tip #4: Familiarize Yourself With Internal Processes

Nothing is more refreshing to an employer than a new employee who already knows how to seamlessly integrate themselves within a company’s teams, goals, and key performance indicators. Internships offer the unique opportunity to familiarize yourself with internal processes and connect with long-term members of the organization who can provide more details. Forging strong relationships with leaders during internships allows you better insight into organizational values, areas of strength, growth potential, and areas that need improvement. 

Each internal process you learn has the potential to become a bullet on your resume and LinkedIn profile. Understanding the overall goals of the company and how each process relates to one another also helps when crafting talking points and questions for future employment interviews. 

Internship Tip #5: Learn from Successes and Mistakes

An internship experience is intended to offer room for you to learn, mess up, recover, and learn again. Take the knowledge gained from your internship successes and mistakes and use it to grow as an individual and propel yourself to the next step in your career. Keep records of your feedback and personal insight into your performance. These records are a great resource when building your resume and cover letter. 

Lastly, don’t forget to take both a microscopic and bird’s-eye-view of your internship learning opportunities. Mistakes in the workplace can sometimes feel very defeating and throw you off course. Allow yourself to analyze how internship mistakes and successes impact your reality right now, but keep the big picture in mind. Don’t let short-term consequences impact your long-term goals. Accept you’re still learning, be compassionate with yourself, take notes, make plans for improvement, and move onward and upward. 

Are you looking to expand your work experience before or immediately following graduation? Check out the Zoetic Resume and Writing Services blog to discover important tips and resources for finding great internship opportunities.

Already an intern? Let’s get your hard-earned experience on paper so you can leave your internship program with everything you need to land your dream job. I partner with my clients to ensure your most relevant, employer-valued accomplishments, career goals, and professional experiences are perfectly captured in interview-earning resumes, cover letters, and LinkedIn profiles. Connect with Zoetic Resume and Writing Services here to learn more about my resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn services.  

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