‘I don’t know what’s going wrong. I have applied to a number of internships but I never seem to get a reply from a company’
Are you in a similar situation yourself? Or may be you have just joined Internshala and wondering if there is a secret to securing an internship through us. Yes, there is. :)
At Internshala, every week we process thousands of internship applications and talk to hundreds of companies to find out what made them not consider (or consider) a particular candidate. Here are the top 5 mistakes applicants commit which lead to their applications being ignored by the companies, and how to fix those mistakes.
1. Ignoring 5 critical elements of each internship that you should be paying attention to –1. Internship profile i.e. the work you would be expected to do 2. Location of the internship 3. Duration of the internship 4. Start date, and 5. Stipend offered
This information is clearly mentioned on the internship details page. If your profile does not match with what the company needs, you can’t apply for that internship. Take, for example, a student living in Mumbai trying for an internship in a company which only needs applicant from Delhi. He can’t apply for that internship.
Tip: Fill details about your internship preferences on your dashboard and select the option ‘Show internships as per my preferences‘ (one click search – see image below) while searching for internships. This way you will only be shown relevant internships that you are interested in and which matches your profile.
2. Why should you be hired for this internship? – is a question that you have to answer for every internship that you apply to on Internshala (see image below).
Your answer to this question is really crucial part of your application and make sure you don’t make following 3 mistakes that most students who do not get selected do.
- Copying a generic answer from the internet – Answer to this question depends on the internship you are applying to and your profile, and even Google can not answer this for you. Moreover, a plagiarized answer is easy to spot (if you can Google the question, the employer can also Google your answer).
- Bad English – Answers riddled with spelling mistakes, poor grammar, lack of punctuation and proper capitalization, use of SMS language are sure signs of someone who either has poor communication skills or is not serious.
- Giving the same answer for every application that you make – This is not a major crime as long as the answer has been well thought of. However, every internship and every company are unique and a bit of customization would help you secure an interview. What will certainly not work is when you write the same answer for two very different type of internships (say one Management, and other Technical).
Tip – A good answer should demonstrate why are you interested in this internship with this company and your capability to do the work i.e. what skills or past credentials you have that can convince the company that you can do the work. See a good sample answer.
3. Work Experience not highlighted – Most companies, while selecting interns, prefer candidates with past examples of similar work in the area of internship (say someone having developed a website for college fest and applying to a Web Development internship).
You need to show the employer what you bring to the table. Most companies prefer candidates with past examples of similar work in the area of the internship. The more internships and project experiences you have under your belt, the better. This information is displayed separately to the employer, along with your application, improving your chances of getting shortlisted. Though, make sure that you include only relevant experiences – an employer doesn’t need to know what singing competition you won in your high school.
Many students ignore this section and lose out on internships, make sure you are not one among them.
4. Outdated contact details – Many students change their phone number (especially when they go home during summer/winter break) but forget to update it on their Internshala profile resulting in companies not being able to contact them even if they are shortlisted! What a silly reason to miss on a great internship opportunity.
Make sure that you always keep your phone number updated on your Internshala profile (you can do so at Edit Profile). Ensure that the same number is updated in your resume also.
5. A weak profile – If, even after following all the mentioned points, you still did not hear from the company then the most likely reason is that your profile somehow did not stand out among the competition and there were better applicants. If there are things that you could do to strengthen your profile such as undergoing some training on the subject, taking up few online courses in that area, working on a project independently or with a professor, taking part in more competitions, attending events/seminars etc.; we highly recommend you do that. The only way to beat the competition is to become better than them.
Tip – Don’t be content with just completing some training/courses. You need to show the employer that you have actually used the knowledge in a practical application and have built an original product. Take, for example, someone running a blog, or creating an app/website in college.
So now you know why your internship application(s) may be getting rejected or ignored and what you could do to avoid that in future. If you could think of any other reason, we would love to hear it; please comment below.
Now that you know all the secrets, what are you waiting for? Register here and start applying to your dream internships!