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Career Corner
6 Tips for Landing a Good Internship Program

Cecile Peterkin -- These days, internships are viewed as pretty much standard when it comes to job search experience. But competition for them can be fierce. So consider the following must-dos if you want to land one of these must-haves.

If you’re still in college and would like to use an internship program to gain real work experience, you’re on the right track. You can’t expect this to be easy, though, as the competition among students applying for internships can be really tough. But then again, there are things you can do to make sure you’ll land the position you’re hoping for.

Below are the things you should do to become the best candidate for an internship program in your field:

1. Double-check your resume.

First and foremost, you have to make sure that you have a clean resume. Check it for spelling and grammar errors. See to it also that there are no inaccuracies and exaggerations in your resume. For instance, you cannot state that you had experience in cash management if your previous job was as a cashier at a fast food chain. There’s nothing worse than getting caught providing false information in your resume.

2. Highlight your various but relevant experience.

Your job-related experience should be highlighted or made visible in your resume. If you lack relevant experience, consider gaining such first, or emphasize your other marketable skills, such as written communication skills. Writing skills are almost always needed in any industry, so this could increase your chances of being considered for the position.

3. Don’t wait until summer to apply for internship.

Companies these days are open to interns all year round. Therefore, you shouldn’t wait for summer to come to send your application form. Regularly check the Internet for updates on available internships in your chosen field. Or inquire at your college or university’s student affairs office.

4. Submit your application on time.

You should have your resume and other credentials ready so that you can avoid getting in your application late. Also, make sure it is neat and easy to read. Keep in mind that hiring managers receive lots of applications on a daily basis, so you want yours to be attractive.

5. Be your best self during the interview.

If you’re scheduled for an interview, the last thing you want to do is mess up by not preparing enough for it. Do some research about the company so that you have an idea of how the company works. Make it clear to the employer that you’re willing to do whatever it takes to make your internship stint worthwhile for you and for the company.

6. Don’t forget to ask about full-time positions.

More and more companies today end up hiring full-time employees from among their interns. This is beneficial to them in that interns need no further training; they are fully accustomed to the systems and processes in the company they have spent months working for. Thus, this is an opportunity not to be missed. If you’re serious about your career planning, this is one thing you should remember to do.

Cecile Peterkin is a certified career and retirement coach, and a registered member of the Career Professionals of Canada and the International Coach Federation. She is also the Founder and Senior Career Strategist at Cosmic Coaching Center, provider of career and life management services for middle managers and mid-career professionals across Canada, United States and Europe.

© 2015 Cecile Peterkin

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