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Our guides for employers and candidates on how to navigate the entry-level job market.

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How to Find the Right Internship For You

An internship gives you the perfect opportunity to expand your future graduate prospects while still studying at university and can even set you up for a future role in that company. They offer a ‘taster’ of a work sector and of working life. The experience will give you valuable and transferable skills and an understanding of the career path you might want to take. So how do you actually find an internship?

Tracking down the right internship for you can often be a challenging task. So we’ve devised our top tips to help give you the whens, the wheres and the hows of internship searching and applying.

When?

It is most common to find that the larger companies start the application process for their summer internships in Autumn. Sector-specific internships such as those in banking tend to have tight deadlines so keep those in mind if looking for these roles. You can find information about these deadlines at these sources:

The earlier the application the better so it is best to start looking as soon as you can but companies can still be searching for summer interns up until May or June. So just keep looking! The cycle in start-ups or SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) is less rigid than the larger companies so they’ll be looking to hire all year round. There is not necessarily a ‘right’ time to be looking for these type of roles.

Where?

Bear in mind how far you are willing to travel or even relocate to for the right internship role. This is particularly important to consider in an internship role as the salary will almost always be lower than a full time role and London is an expensive city. Therefore it is particularly important to ask yourself:

  • How are you going to get there?
  • Where will you live during the internship?
  • How long is the internship?
  • Will you be able to afford the living costs

Take time to research where particular sectors might be based and the companies within these areas. You might find that there are relevant roles closer than you think. If relocation isn’t an option it is worth looking in your home city or university city.

How?

Before starting your search have a think about what you would like to get out of an internship and how this experience will help you reach your career goals. For example you might be looking at a career in marketing. You have experience in content writing but not in social media – an internship in social media would then be beneficial to you.

Knowing how to find the right internship is the important bit. It all comes down to what you’re doing and how you’re doing it. You need to find the internships, they won’t find you.

Determine the type of internships you are interested in this way you can keep your search focused and avoid getting lost in sectors you don’t know about

Use your resources

  • University careers centres can offer so much help with the entire process of internships applications. Book an appointment today!
  • Ask family and friends- they might have opportunities that you couldn’t find elsewhere and will be able to tell you about their own experiences to give you an idea of what different roles in different areas actually involve.
  • Connect with people- university professors, careers fairs, alumni. We can’t stress the importance of networking enough

Social Media Profiles 

Keep your own profiles updated and relevant remembering that they represent yourself as a personal brand . Often companies will post opportunities to their own social media accounts so following them can be very useful when looking for internships as well as showing your interest in their company.

Adapt your CV to the role 

Take time to understand what a company is looking for and adapt your CV accordingly. This will tell the employer what makes you the best candidate for the role.

Be active 

If there are companies you are particularly interested in don’t be afraid to email them directly. You’ll never know if they have any roles if you don’t ask, the worst they can say is no! Make sure to use the right tone in your email and CV if they are speculative, we have some great advice on how to speak to future employers

When hopefully all your hard work has paid off and you have found the right internship for you, you can find more advice for applications and interviews

If you’re interested in an internship at a start-up or SME, sign up to TalentPool in just 5 minutes to get started.