How to Talk About Your Internship During Your Job Search
Internships strengthen your skill set and boost your confidence. They also give you experience to talk about during your job search. The tricky part can be knowing how to talk about your internship in a compelling way to increase your chances of landing a full-time role. So, here are four tips for effectively communicating your internship experience during your full-time job hunt.
1. Highlight your relevant skills whenever possible
Most recruiters will only consider a candidate if their resume meets at least 50 percent of the requirements being asked for in the job description. So, it’s extremely important to showcase the valuable skills you learned during your internship at every available opportunity. To determine which skills are most important, look closely at job descriptions and research similar roles. Then make a list of the most relevant and impressive skills you possess. Make sure to include the most relevant skills on your resume, and write about the top skills in more detail on your cover letter. You can also turn to your list of skills when interviewing. Explain what you learned during your internship and how you applied these skills to real projects at the time.
2. Quantify your achievements
Focusing on your key achievements helps to show potential employers how you made a real difference during your internship. By providing numbers to quantify these achievements, you make it even easier for them to understand your value in a measurable way. Include these achievements on your resume, highlighting the most impressive facts and figures on your cover letter too. It’s also a good idea to memorize some of the most important numbers so you can discuss your achievements in interviews.
3. Prepare engaging stories for your interviews
Your internship will likely be the most important part of your experience to date, so you need to make the most of it during an interview. To do this, you need to prepare thoroughly beforehand and make sure you have some relevant and engaging stories at the forefront of your mind (just listing your skills is not enough). The best way to do this is to take a look at some of the most common interview questions and think about how you would answer them in relation to your internship. When practicing answers, focus on your biggest achievements during your internship and include them in a story, quantifying when possible. This will prove clearly and in an engaging manner how you can add genuine value.
4. Leveraging networking connections
Finally, internships are a great opportunity for you to begin building your professional network. Even after your internship has finished, you should have kept nurturing any new connections you made. If you managed to build and maintain good connections during your internship, you may now wish to leverage these in your full-time job search.
You could start by reaching out to your new contacts via email and letting them know you’re looking for a more permanent role. Alternatively, you could post on LinkedIn expressing your availability for hire. You could also join relevant industry or recruitment groups online, and, if you’re close enough to a contact, even meet up with them in person to see if they know of any opportunities and to let them know what you’re looking for in a full-time role.
Andrew Fennell is the founder and director of StandOut CV, a leading CV builder and careers advice website. He is a former recruitment consultant and contributes careers advice to publications like Business Insider, The Guardian, and The Independent.