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Top Tips for Internships

It's that time of year again when focus on degrees crumble to be replaced by the unavoidable, yet incessant chore of career choices. Here are a few tips and hints to help you stay ahead of the competition. (Thumbnail credit Photo credit: TEN@OL)

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It's that time of year again when focus on degrees crumble to be replaced by the unavoidable, yet incessant chore of career choices. Be it for insight days, spring weeks, internships or graduate jobs, the dreaded online application form represents a foreboding challenge that mustn't be undertaken lightly. Here are a few tips and hints to help you stay ahead of the competition:

1.) Commercial Awareness:
Be it on the initial application form or the pre-interview, you must research your employer, as well as the role you are applying for. Delve further than just the blurb on their Wikipedia page, don't be afraid to include specific details of schemes/programmes that interest you - this will help you stand out from the
other applicants.

2.) Practise aptitude tests:
This cannot be stressed enough, as most graduate employers use numerical reasoning tests to sift out candidates at an early stage. This tends to be done even before the form is looked at; leaving many candidates frustrated having spent hours providing faultless answers on their applications, only to be unprepared in taking the tests.

3.) Apply broadly:
It is unwise to pick and apply to only one company that interests you. The graduate job market is extraordinarily competitive; apply for as many firms in your desired industry as you physically can. Even if you don't get the job/placement at your preferred company, any relevant opportunity will provide you with invaluable experience that will increase your employability, and ultimately further your career.

4.) Don't lie:
A fundamental distinction exists between stretching the truth and outright lying. Although you may be able to get away with overstating your responsibilities in a part-time job or a role in a committee, there exists a boundary that should not be crossed. Making up any fact; from GCSE grades to nonexistent work experience, is not advisable. If you are caught (and there's a high chance of it), your application will be rejected instantaneously, no matter what
stage of the process you are in.

5.) Start early:
The vast majority of graduate/undergraduate schemes work on a 'first come first serve' basis. Once these companies have filled their quotas you will not be able to apply, even if this falls well within the official deadline. Therefore, it is absolutely essential that you start all applications at the earliest possible opportunity, in order to ensure you have the highest chance of success.

6.) Note to freshers:
Try and get involved in as many extra-curricular activities as you can while the workload is easier. You may not have time in your second/third year, and they provide perfect opportunities to further your employability skills which will prove invaluable on any CV or application form.

Internships Count:
At the recent Ernst & Young Live event hosted in York, representatives of the firm emphasised that 90% of interns were subsequently offered a graduate job upon completion of their degree. This statistic highlights the crucial importance that employers place on internships and work experience in the current market.

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1 Comment

sab Posted on Wednesday 13 Nov 2019

What a useful article full of great advice-thankyou!

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