I was very fortunate to find an internship at an incredible company during the corona pandemic. However, it took me a while to get there, which is why I will share some of my best tips in this article. They don’t necessarily apply to the times of the pandemic but can also be used once it is over.
I underestimated the process of gathering my documents, updating my CV, and the process of actually applying to various job offers. Since every company has a different system and wants to have different documents and information from you, it all can take some time. I came across some job offers that stated one should have applied a year or even two in advance. Since this seems quite unrealistic for a mandatory internship, I applied six months in advance.
#2 Cover Letter
It is important to state exactly why you want to work for that company and what it is that makes you the right candidate.
I’ve heard several times that a creative cover letter will help you to get an internship. It is important to state exactly why you want to work for that company and what it is that makes you the right candidate. There are a lot of helpful tips online: One of my favorites is Emily Durham. She is a recruiter herself and is, therefore, skilled in the field of recruitment. She talks a lot about how one can improve their CV and cover letter, and shares helpful tips for job interviews. UvA also offers some application tips on their website.
#3 Create an Overview
Once I had all of my documents gathered, I created a document where I jotted down all the important information from the internship information session that UvA held. After that, I put in all of the jobs and companies that I was interested in. I then divided them into their respective cities. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, I was only able to apply for internships in my hometown. After that, I looked through various job recruitment websites, such as LinkedIn, Indeed, and Glassdoor, and put the jobs that seemed interesting in the document. Whenever I applied for a job, I would highlight them in the document. I also highlighted the jobs in the cases where I got rejected. When you send your application to a lot of companies, it is very likely that you won’t be able to keep track of all of your applications. This is a simple way of getting an overview.
It can be extremely helpful to use your networks; for me, LinkedIn made a huge difference. It can be useful to update your profile so that you can apply for job offers directly in the app. You could even create a post and tell your connections that you are open to “finding a new job”. It can also be helpful to ask your former colleagues, friends, or family members whether they have heard about open positions.
#5 Unadvertised Jobs
If you would like to work at a certain company but they don’t have an available spot at a given time, you can apply as an open applicant. Send them your CV and make sure to state exactly why you want to work for them.
Bonus: #6 Don’t Give Up
You might get some rejections or you might get no answers at all. But don’t let this discourage you. You will find a place eventually. Unless you need to do your mandatory internship, there are several other opportunities to learn new things. A few examples are online courses, summer schools, or virtual exchange programs. Good luck!
Cover: Alesia Kazantceva
Edited by: Debby Mogot