One of the stories I hear from my older friends about college is their “on-the-job” training (OJT). Whether as a requirement or simply for the experience, taking a side job or internship with a company is one way to get to know what the real world is like. Personally, I was both nervous and excited at the thought of it. Becoming an intern means being one step closer to a new chapter in my life: adulthood.
Time passed quickly and before I knew it, I was a third-year student who needed to find a practicum job to fulfill the requirements for my AB Communications course. Although I attended a lot of workshops and lectures about the industry I plan to enter, barely any were about the process of applying for a job. It may seem easy when I hear upperclassmen talk about it, but personally, I find it such a daunting task.
First-time applications take preparation, so here are the things you need to keep in mind while getting ready to send your emails out.
1. Research the industry you wish to partake in.
Make sure you’re searching for something you really want to do in the future. Research can be done online by going through different companies’ websites. Look for their HR or Careers section and contact details. Job-hunting sites such as JobStreet and Kalibrr can also bridge you directly to these companies. Apart from this, try asking the people around you if they’re familiar with anyone in the industry or know of someone who might be of help.
Whether the company you are applying for has available positions or not, take the initiative to reach out to them. Inquire if they have slots open for an internship. Doing so will help put your name out there and establish your reputation.
2. Create your resume or CV and portfolio as early as you can.
Most companies need your credentials to see if you are the best fit for their job openings. So they look into your resume or your CV. These two documents are a testament to your success, as they contain your goals, educational background, work experience, extra-curriculars, achievements, skills, and interests.
A resume is a brief document of the aforementioned information that is most relevant to the position you are applying for. Because of its straightforwardness, it’s often only a page or two at maximum.
On the flipside, a curriculum vitae (CV) is longer than a resume. It’s where you present all your life accomplishments and experiences to-date.
Some occupations that are output-based may be interested in viewing a portfolio. It’s a compilation of your best works based on your talents. The pieces in this document need to show your ability in the skills required for the said job.
All in all, these documents are essentially you in PDF format. As such, make sure it represents who you truly are. Just as you grow every day, make sure to update these documents with your latest achievements and experiences.
3. Sending out emails is easy; it’s the wait that’s draining.
Once you have found the right contact details and prepared your documents, send out your applications. Have a specialized email subject to catch their attention quickly. Also, craft a short message in the email body. Be direct in this message and show your intention for sending the email. It’s also recommended that the email body be no longer than the size of a phone screen so that the recipient can easily and quickly digest the information you have just sent.
Getting a reply back is dependent on the online activity of the companies. It may come in a few hours or even a week later. Some do not even reply at all. With this in mind, try to send your emails in during office hours. This gives the firm a higher chance of receiving your email.
While the wait is nerve-wracking, all we can do is be patient. Whatever response you get, take these as signs that can help you narrow down your decisions and choices. Don’t stress if no one replies. Keep trying. Things will fall into place. Overall, remember that there’s that one special opportunity waiting for you when you’re applying for an internship. In every message you send, always present your truest self. Bring your full focus and dedication to your application and you may land that job you’ve always dreamed of!