16 November 2017

Looking for your first job? Land an internship instead

Looking for your first job? Land an internship instead

Ask anyone looking to land their first great job and they’ll tell you that finding a job in their industry isn’t easy. The likelihood of getting a call back from an advertised position on a job board is fairly low given the high number of applicants relative to a single position.Undertaking an internship prior to looking for your first permanent role may be a better choice.In industries such as investment banking, statistics show that up to 80% of positions are filled by people who have already undertaken an internship at the same firm. Statistics like these can’t be ignored. Here’s why an internship may be the best way to get a job you’ll love.

Experience is vital

While previous employment in retail, hospitality or similar industries can demonstrate customer service skills and workplace experience, it probably won’t be enough.Experience in a relevant or similar industry to that desired is mostly favoured by employers. It is not only the experience itself that is significant but other facets of the internship that prove beneficial.

Interning in the industry allows the opportunity to build contacts and expand your professional network, increasing opportunities for employment and collaboration in the future.

The experience can also create positive relationships between you and others from the host organisation and ultimately lead to the perfect reference for a future job. After all, recruiters are more likely value a reference from someone you have worked for rather than someone you haven’t.

For internationals, many businesses expect new recruits to already have had previous experience in Australia. But how do you get local work experience if everyone already wants you to have local work experience? An internship is the perfect way to achieve this.

Learn on the job

Older people will be able to tell you that once you would get trained on the job and prior experience or education was not required. Unfortunately, this rarely happens these days and some extent of education and previous work is expected.

I think that internships should be viewed as the modern-day version of ‘getting trained on the job’. They allow for practical learning and experience to coincide with education and existing qualifications and are a segue into further employment, possibly at the same company.

Qualifications aren’t enough

Various universities, TAFEs and other educational institutions are offering internships as part of their courses.

Educational institutions are seeking to improve graduate employability and they too are recognising that a qualification alone is no longer sufficient to land a job in certain industries.

For those currently completing courses where an internship is only optional, I think you’re crazy not to be doing it.

Prove yourself in person and not on a piece of a paper

You have 12 weeks to show the value that you can bring to your host organisation during your internship. Make yourself indispensable and ensure that by the end of the internship, everyone in the organisation knows who you are and how you have benefited the company.

Internships also allow for networking. You meet customers, other staff members, suppliers and even friends of colleagues. There is no choice but to network with people from different ages, demographics and cultures, which ultimately gives you the opportunity to prove yourself to an even broader spectrum of people.