Interns. Kudos on securing an internship this summer. This is a hugely worthwhile step on your journey and, if you work it right, this experience will be something you can hang your hat on and use as a springboard for your future career.
Here are three ways to maximise your internship and make the most out of this brilliant experience.
#1 Keep an eye on the numbers
By quantifying your achievements, you can bring them to life, conveying the true scope and impact of your efforts. This will make your CV more engaging and interesting to the reader. So, when completing your internship, keep an eye on the numbers.
Are you proofreading a sales proposal? If so, what is the value of the contract in question? How many years would it run for? Is your company part of a consortium? How many partners? How large is the project team?
Are you helping to organise a conference or a trade show? Great! How many delegates? What is the timeframe for the project? How long is the event? What is your company’s investment (time, resources, money)? If the event has already taken place, what did it lead to? How many new prospects did your company secure?
Are you organising lunch for a meeting? If so, how many attendees are you serving? Are you working to a budget? Have you managed to present an appealing menu without exceeding allocated spend? Have you saved money and/or time by sourcing another supplier?
Jot down the numbers now, while you have access to them, then use them to create compelling CV bullets that prove you can deliver.
Your professional network is a powerful career tool and, if nurtured, can position you for both desired and unexpected opportunities. You can start building it through your internship.
Treat an internship as you would a permanent role, start as you mean to go on. It’s good practice for the future. Forge relationships face-to-face, then solidify and maintain connections online. By maintaining the relationship on LinkedIn, you can ensure your new contact isn’t lost and/or forgotten.
Don’t be afraid to reach out on LinkedIn. Asking to connect with people you work with is perfectly valid. Before you do, add your internship to your experience section on LinkedIn, positioning yourself as part of the company in question.
Also, if your company has a profile on LinkedIn, follow it. This is a great way to keep up to date with news and developments. It will also enable you to find employees and selectively connect with those you have met or engaged with.
#3 Secure social proof
LinkedIn recommendations are a fantastic way to build career visibility and credibility. Do good work, then secure social proof by requesting and featuring recommendations on LinkedIn. Having great recommendations on your profile will boost your credibility and encourage a recruiter to consider your profile in a more favourable light. A recommendation speaks volumes about a person’s character, and carries more weight than what the individual may write about themselves. This kind of validation will help to build your profile online and confirm your credentials to future employers. Read my blog on LinkedIn recommendations to discover how and why you should use this brilliant feature.
These three tips show how you can leverage this fantastic experience for future advantage, but an internship experience is only as good as the effort you put into it. Now you know what you can get out of it, check out these 15 top internship tips to ensure you put your very best efforts into your internship and reap the rewards.
Lis McGuire is a professional CV writer who helps professionals to secure interviews for roles they really want, with organisations of all shapes and sizes across the public, private, and third sector. When she’s not writing CVs, her mission is to share actionable CV and careers advice, helping jobseekers to optimise their CV and supercharge their job search. Click through to visit her weekly blog or podcast.