You would think that landing a college internship would be easier than landing a full-time job. But surprisingly, many internship requirements expect prospective candidates to have some relevant experience before applying. As somebody who didn’t had zero experience, I had no choice but to improvise.
Can you land an internship without any experience?
Yes. It’s possible to land a good internship without having experience in your specific field. Although having some is an advantage, it’s not the most critical factor in the recruiting process. In fact, there are plenty of other ways to stand out. Here are 4 legit ways that helped me land my current internship in my senior year.
1. Have An Online Portfolio
In today’s social and digital age, having a portfolio to showcase your skills is a must. This is a no-brainer for those who are pursuing a career in digital marketing, branding, social media management, graphic design, or any other tech-savvy/creative field.
Employers want to know if you’re professionally qualified for the position and what skills you have. Your online portfolio is your outlet for communicating those qualifications in a visual and creative form.
Who knows, maybe you use it to promote your writing skill and an employer notices that you’re talented in web designing. They might offer you a position as a web designer or graphic designer. YOU NEVER KNOW.
2. Create A Perfect Cover Letter
Fun fact: Your cover letter is not about you. It’s about the company you’re applying for. More specifically, it’s about showing them what you can do for the company.
Your CL should be clear, straightforward and persuasive. Put yourself in the employer’s shoes so you can identify their goals and bring their vision to light with your personal attributions and skills.
Instead of making it about you, make it about them. When drafting up your cover letter, these are the questions you should answer: How can I be useful? How will I benefit this organization? How can I help them achieve their goals and be a successful intern?
Intern Queen does an excellent job breaking down everything you should to do to ensure the perfect cover letter.
3. Get Certified
Nowadays there’s almost a certificate for any job. There are many benefits to obtaining any work-related documents. For one its free. You will learn so many tricks, hacks, and essential tips that will help you flourish in your future career. I don’t care what anyone says, knowledge is the most powerful tool. The more you know, the more successful and confident you will be.
Additionally, it shows employers that you are passionate, determined, and committed to your work. It’s a great way to make up for not having any experience.
HubSpot offers over a dozen FREE classes and certificates to help you master your craft. Their free tools and training will help expand in your career and also grow business. I just completed my first one.
4. Do Freelance Work
If you’re a full-time college student with zero experience, turn to freelance. It’s an effective way to build your skills and gain relevant experience. You get to choose your own schedule, work on your own time, and there’s no commitment. You literally have nothing to lose. From creating online content to web designing, social media consultation, writing blog posts, and email marketing, etc.
In college, a lack of experience is typical. It’s not the only thing employers consider when choosing candidates, instead of letting opportunities pass you by fill up the missing gaps and master your skills. Update your resumes/cover letters, create an online portfolio, do some freelancing on the side, and get at least one certificate. I guarantee that you will get noticed by numerous company’s.