Whether it is an attachment, internship, or a permanent job, every employer’s dream is to have a responsible team that will go over and above to get what they want. Perhaps you have noticed that some companies never make these opportunities public, although they are always available.
Well, that’s because no one wants to fill their HR department with thousands of applications that will never be reviewed.
So, the whole point of creating your own internship is—STANDING OUT!
Even if you feel unqualified, making that bold move to apply for an unadvertised opportunity speaks very highly of you. But even so, be sure to craft a compelling proposal to leverage the chances of being absorbed.
Wondering how? Let us see!
Select companies that match your objectives
To know the companies you will approach, you must first understand what they do and how you will benefit. Seek to answer questions like:
- What services does the company offer?
- What are their objectives and mission?
- Who are their employees?
Then, what are you hoping to gain from this exposure? Is it something new you want to learn, or are you looking to reinforce what you’ve learned in class in an industrial environment?
These questions will phase you companies with minimal value to your career.
The last step is perhaps simple but equally challenging—connecting with a company lead or employee in the organization. You can find them through their website, LinkedIn, or their social media platforms.
Reach out to them, discuss your concern, and ask whether you can apply.
Put it all down together in a pitch
Now that you made your first communication through cold calling and you’ve been informed that there are vacancies, proceed to make a written application.
First of all, introduce yourself; then go on with expressing your reasons for contacting them—be sure to articulate your points concisely.
What value do you bring to the table?
As you look to answer this question in your application, remember every company only needs assets—not liabilities! Do not apply as an ordinary student whose knowledge is only classwork.
You should demonstrate that your skills are way beyond those acquired in class. That’s the only way you can show the employer you are passionate about building a career.
Do not be afraid to mention anything you’ve done in the past outside a class setting. Such could include voluntary community services, campus events you attended—relevant for the application, and perhaps projects you’ve done in the past on your own.
That shows how active and ambitious you are to be relied on in a company and eventually gives you a competitive edge.
Indicate your availability and funding
Remember to highlight the days you will be available to allow them to process your application quickly. Since this is an internship, and you are only interested in the skills, be sure to let them know you already have the funding.
Even though most of them will pay you some stipend, mentioning this is another tip to stand out.
Again, all of this should be very brief.
Before sending, build yourself a professional image
Always have in mind—first impression counts. So, there are couple of things you need to put in order before pressing the “send” button. Here they are:
- Have a professionally written resume in PDF format. Be sure it outlines your qualifications chronologically, and they are well-articulated. Include your official names in your resume. For instance, John Doe CV.
- Polish up your LinkedIn profile to reflect everything on your resume.
- Ensure your social media profiles, too, speak well of you.
- Don’t forget to sign your email before sending it.
If you were to send a voicemail message, do it in a quiet place and be sure it is very clear and professional.
Not yet done: Have your attachments in order
Don’t make a common mistake some applicants do—attaching the wrong document. I find creating a new folder with all documents for that particular application quite handy to be on the safe side.
That way, you cannot attach a CV you customized for another company.
You can even have a friend or coach double-check your resume and cover letter to ascertain they are actually up to the mark.
With all that set, you can now SEND!
Didn’t receive feedback? Follow up
After sending the application, give them 1 or 2 weeks to respond. In case they don’t provide you with feedback, then consider sending a polite follow-up message.
Remember, since this is a self-initiated process and the company is perhaps receiving many emails, they may not find time to respond. However, following up increases your chances of getting feedback.
In fact, it reinforces your interest and commitment towards joining their team. So most likely, the company will offer you an opportunity.
And when they do, respond as soon as you can—don’t delay for more than 24 hours. Also, if it was a voicemail, do not forget to share your excitement via a thank-you voice note.
Generally, finding an internship is great, but creating one for yourself is even much greater! Remember, with the latter, you are choosing companies that actually have a direct impact on your career, not just somewhere to get a certification to aid in your graduation.
You will definitely reap real value out of it.
However, we understand that going through the entire proposal process may not be the most exciting thing you’ve heard today. But you can be sure that opportunity will be more valuable than the time you spent, the effort you put, and all your patience.
Again, whether you get a declining message or no message at all, do not give up! Perhaps it’s because all there are no vacancies at that moment.
You may receive a surprise call asking you to join the team as an employee! So, why not try it out?