This is a guest blog post written by Dream Careers.
In today’s busy working world, employers are seeking the best candidates with an oversaturated market of resumes and little to no time to review them. You have done everything by the book in your college career; you have a great cover letter, a high 3.9 GPA and superb recommendations. So why aren’t employers calling you back?
Does this sound familiar? Don’t worry, this is normal. You’re dealing with that ever so popular dilemma of “how am I supposed to get a job to gain experience if all of the entry level jobs require experience?” that so many students suffer from. You need an internship, and you need it now. The best way to get on the path to your dream career can start sooner rather than later. Here are the seven reasons why an internship will help launch your dream career:
- Internships lead to jobs. The probability of landing a full-time job goes through the roof if you participate in a company’s internship program. According to a Forbes article, the hidden job market accounts for 80 percent of job openings. If employers aren’t posting 80 percent of their job openings, you need to get your foot in the door and prove yourself and develop a close relationship with the hiring manager. How can you do that? You guessed it, an internship.
- Internships can help build your real “Social Network.” Have you ever heard the phrase, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know?” Networking once you are in an internship will give you the ability to improve on the “who” you know. During the duration of your internship you will have the ability to network with not only your bosses and colleagues, but you will also be given the opportunity to make contacts with hundreds if not thousands of people during your time as an intern; the more connections you actively make while working as a college student, the better chance you’ll have at starting that dream career. By making all of those connections, you’ll be putting the “in” to the “intern.”
- You’ll have the ability to earn more money right out of the gate. This is a pretty simple equation. The way to gain real experience while you’re in school is by doing an internship; the more internships you’ve done by the time you graduate, the more experience you’ll have under your belt. In turn, the more experience you have, the better chance an employer is going to hire you as an entry-level employee, and potentially even pay you more than those without the experience. It’s a win-win in setting up for your future.
- Test drive what you’ve learned in school. When you’re in an internship, you finally get to put all of those late-night study sessions and test taking to work. Not only will you get to apply the things you’ve learned in your major during your college years, but you will also be test-driving your career. Imagine if you went through four years of school just to realize that the last thing you’d want to be doing for the rest of your life is what you’ve been studying. The quickest way to learn is by doing, and an internship will give you exactly that when you enter the real world.
- Grow your professionalism. Not only are you gaining experience and having a better
understanding of what to expect once you graduate college, but you’re learning how to act as a professional along the way. You will learn how to build a reputation, meet a lot of people and be visible when it comes to communication with others in your professional world. It’s important to think long-term and not burn bridges if you want to build up your professional persona. An internship is the best way to pave the road to a good start of professionalism.
- Prove yourself through hard work. You might be networking like a boss with everyone in and out of the office during your internship, but did you realize you’re also being given eight weeks to prove yourself through all of that hard work? Your employer is always aware of your actions and is keeping in mind that you might be a good fit for a full-time position at the company. Work hard and good things will come to you, including that dream career.
- You’re building your skills, motivation, and work habits. Interacting with people on a professional level is sharpening your skills in the workplace, but did you realize you’re working for the betterment of yourself at the same time? An internship will teach you discipline. Internships will get you out into the real world and show you that a good work ethic will help you succeed more than anything. Interaction with others will build how you communicate with others, it gives real application to having teamwork skills outside of a group project, you’re gaining confidence by jumping over hurdles and fears that might lie in front of you, and ultimately you will be perfecting the skills that all employers are going to look for when hiring.
Bonus Tip #8: How to Land a Top Internship. Finding any internship isn’t that challenging. There are thousands of job boards, hundreds of internship fairs, and endless local businesses looking for support. However, landing a career changing internship that will launch your career is the tough part. You cannot apply to a job post online and be confident in the result. Invest in your career development like you would invest in college. Find a way to to stand out, join an internship program like Dream Careers to push your career limits and get outside of your college town, or try and make an impression by reaching out directly to a person you aspire to be. The more experience you have in your career, the more likely you are going to land your dream career.
Lastly, have fun and enjoy the process. College can be the greatest years of your life, but make those four years the stepping stone to a successful future career.