How to land an internship in the middle of a global pandemic

COVID-19 has thrown us all into a crash course in adaptability and made flexibility a new necessity. It’s also meant a change in approach when it comes to the dreaded job hunt.

For many students with little-to-no related experience, writing a cover letter and producing a competitive CV can be a daunting task; especially during a time when the search for a graduate scheme or an internship is more competitive than ever.

With many businesses making redundancies, it’s easy to assume that very few places are hiring.

However, many industries have flourished in the midst of the madness. Here are 5 quick-fire tips for getting an internship during a global pandemic.

Be flexible

Thinking outside of the box when it comes to applications is, at its core, about being flexible and optimistic about what’s achievable. It might be worth looking at companies that don’t at first seem directly related to your degree. For example, if you study Finance or Accounting, then it’s good to remember that every industry requires some form of financial management.

Don’t restrict yourself to the big names within your field; consider boutique firms and agencies during your search. Big firms tend to attract a high number of applicants, as they often have the most vacancies to fill.

Many students overlook great opportunities when they make assumptions about smaller firms being less attractive and less likely to hire and retain interns.

Be bold

Try sending an open application. An open application is not a response to a job posting, but rather an independent motivational letter focused towards a specific organisation or position. There are many advantages to sending an open application; no application rounds, no competition if there is no job posting, and you’ll stand out for taking the initiative.

In your open letter, it’s important to highlight why you want to work for the business and why you are the right person to join the team. Before sending your application, research the business culture and what they look for in an individual – this is usually in the ‘about us’ section.

Be proactive

COVID-19 has heightened the need to put yourself out there on the job market.

It’s important to remember that very few students have related work experience and have to find other ways to make their CV stand out. This is where extra curricula activities and other experience can come in handy, such as part time jobs and volunteering. This kind of experience will illustrate to a recruiter that you have the necessary skills for the role.

Consider signing up to a free online course in your field to gain additional experience. This shows initiative and a desire to learn about the industry, despite not having any professional experience.

Be outgoing

LinkedIn can be a useful tool for securing an internship and long-termemployment. 70% of jobs on LinkedIn are found through networking and utilising the customised messages apparatus.

Another great feature is LinkedIn’s Company Pages which can give you an insight into the company and their people; this can be a great place to start when building connections.

The Student Jobs portal also has a selection of entry-level opportunities that you can apply to directly from your LinkedIn profile.

By improving your online profile, you can make yourself more attractive to potential employers and head-hunters. Be brave! Don’t be afraid to reach out directly to a recruiter for advice and information on opportunities.

Be resilient

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(Header photo: Dylan Ferreira on Unsplash)

Receiving a letter of rejection can be very disheartening but don’t let this deter you from your main objective.

Allow each rejection to be a learning opportunity by requesting feedback from the HR team. This can help you to improve your application and interview performance for future job opportunities.

Always respond politely to a letter of rejection; this will allow you to standout amongst the other candidates who didn’t get the role. This can be the one small thing that makes the difference between you or another candidate being selected if a role does become available.

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(Header photo: Dylan Ferreira on Unsplash)