Sunday, 26 April 2015

5 Tips to Score Your Dream Internship



After my dance competition ended in February, I set out to find a summer job or internship. It was a whole lot more tedious than I expected because I'm so out of touch with job searching! (the last time I worked was 2 years ago) But eventually all went well and I'm here to share my experiences with you guys. I ended up accepting an offer for a social media marketing and e-commerce internship at a local culinary/kitchenware company. Whether you're an post O/A level or uni kiddo looking for an internship, this post can help! Internship hunting season is sort of over, but you can always bookmark this for future reference. So here are my 5 tips to score your dream internship!



1. Get Your Resume Right

Even before you even start looking for a job, craft your resume. Every word counts, and if your resume isn't impressive, you won't even get that callback.

Most schools provide workshops on resume crafting, but if you haven't gone through one, there's always google. Different resumes work for different industries, so look for a general template/ structure that you like and google resumes specific to your intended industry. Big shoutout to Shan for sending me her very impressive resume (mine just pales in comparison), it helped me a lot because I'd lost the one from my poly days.

In the end, I kept my resume short and zoomed in on relevant experience rather than throwing my life story into it. For example, I left out poly and secondary school CCAs, simply because it wasn't relevant to the jobs I was applying for. I guess you have no choice but to put in irrelevant CCAs in your resume if you're fresh out of school, but always remember quality vs quantity. Your employer does not need to know that you were class monitor in Sec 3. Personally, I put in my previous internship experiences and relevant activities in school/hall committees. I also wrote a specific objective for every company I sent my resume to, so it wouldn't seem generic and mass-sent.

Also, a tip from my dad who's a management-level executive at his company: If you're decent-looking (especially for females), it won't hurt to put your photo in your resume. It WILL make 
a difference.




2. Start your search

Many schools have a career office or internship programmes that they can link you up with, even if it isn't compulsory for your course. I stupidly missed the application period for my school's application, so I had to self-source. So I used these 2 sites: InternSG and Culturepush. The former is a great general site that makes it really easy to send in your application. It's frequently updated and they even provide information on the monthly allowance. The latter is a site specifically for media/art/design jobs, so do check it out if these industries are your cup of tea. It's not as detailed as InternSG but I appreciated how I didn't have to go through 100 irrelevant internships before finding something that suited my skills set.



3. Narrow it down!

Finding internships isn't the hard part, it's deciding what you want to get out of your internship that is a little more complicated. If this is your first time interning or you need this internship to graduate, I'd recommend that you don't be too fussy with the kind of company or pay you're getting. It's a privilege to work for anyone given your lack of experience, and you've the luxury of time to figure out whether this is what you really want to do or not in the future.

For people like me who've had scraps of experience here and there, and probably won't have another chance to intern before getting a full-time job, you can afford to be a little pickier. Only apply for jobs that you feel would help you in your future job search. Test the waters in an industry that you'd consider working in, or delve deeper into something you've done before.

For this internship, I was also picky about pay because saving for exchange was one of my priorities. I didn't apply for any internship that paid below $600/month. Do keep in mind that salaries $750 and above are eligible for CPF deduction if you're not applying through your school. This is something I didn't take note of, so I'll probably have to sell some backside to bolster my pay. Sads.

4. Apply for more than one internship 

This seems pretty obvious, but how many resumes should you be sending out? I'd recommend sending out your resume to 5 first, then a few more if the odds don't look good from those first 5 within the next 2 weeks. It's just easier to keep track of replies and schedule interviews that way. I got replies from 3/5 places I sent my resume out to then went for 2 interviews, and eventually got an offer out of one of them.



5. Nail that interview

I cannot stress how important it is to be well-prepared. Read up on the company, view their website and corporate profiles, form an opinion even before you get in that door. No point memorising facts - they want you to think during the interview. I've had to think critically during every interview I've been to and provide ideas and suggestions for improvement based on the company's current status, or think of news angles on the spot. Don't be stumped when you get such questions and answer thoughtfully.

Most importantly, be the best version of yourself. There's no point acting like someone you're not just to fit into a company, only to realise you absolutely hate it when you're there. Just as how the company is assessing whether you fit the job, you should use the interview to decide if they're a good fit for you. Once you put that into perspective, there's nothing to be nervous about so just go in there and wing it ;)

That's all from me now, all the best in securing your internship! Bookmark/share if you found this useful, and do comment below if you have any questions. Also, let me know if you have any tips to recommend to myself and the rest of my readers!

photo credits: 1 2 3

2 comments :

  1. I love love love this post. I'm actually in the process of creating my resume as we speak, and it's more stressful than I would have thought. Now onto the even more stressful part..... Looking for the perfect job/internship!

    Xo, Rach
    Seashells + Sparkles

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much darling! A lot of the references I made were specific to students in Singapore, but I'm glad you found bits of information that are useful to you anyways :) All the best and let me know how it goes!

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