“Why did my internship application get rejected? What did I do wrong?”
Sounds familiar? Do you also find yourself mulling over this same thought? If you are reading this, most probably you have faced the first bump in your professional journey i.e. your first rejection (one of your application status showing ‘Not Selected‘) on Internshala. You might be feeling confused about the whole process or even having second thoughts about applying for a new internship. But worry you not, we are here to help. Here are the top 4 mistakes which applicants usually commit that lead to their application being rejected by the company, and how to fix them.
1. Why should you be hired for this internship?: This is a mandatory question which you have to answer for every internship that you apply on Internshala. This is one of the most crucial aspects of your application where you need to establish your credentials to the employer. Make sure you are not committing these two most common mistakes:
a) Poor writing skills: A poorly written answer, with grammatical and spelling errors, improper punctuation and capitalization, and use of SMS language, irks employers the most. They see it as careless at best, and discourteous at worst. You can check out English with Internshala, a series of videos and quizzes, aimed at improving the English grammar and communication skills of students.
Tip – You may use Grammarly to check your grammatical errors before you fill out your application. You can also read the most common grammatical mistakes which students make while applying for an internship.
b) Plagiarising an answer from the internet: By copying and pasting a generic answer to this question from the internet, you may have saved yourself time, but with little or no impact. (If you can Google the question, the employer can also Google your answer).
Tip – Always write your own answer and customise it for different internships that you apply for. Check out a good sample answer. To understand how to write a strong cover letter, read this article and this post.
2. Does your profile stand out?: 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. Two important reasons why an employer rejects a profile are:
a) Incomplete profile: Many students don’t fill their profile completely and start applying in a haste. An incomplete profile doesn’t show the complete picture of your skills and capabilities to the employer, thereby hampering your chances. If you are looking for a content writing internship, for example, make sure that you add links to all the relevant writing samples, published articles/stories, blog links etc. along with mentioning any awards and achievements in that field in the past. Similarly, many students don’t fill their graduation details if they are still pursuing it, which leads to a misunderstanding later on.
b) A weak profile: If even after taking care of all the aforementioned points you are not getting any positive response, it’s likely that somehow you didn’t stand out amongst other applicants. Landing an internship is a highly competitive affair – on Internshala, only 1 in 50 applications is successful. You might try to strengthen your profile by taking up online courses, undergoing some training in your subject, starting new projects individually or with your professor, continuously reading about the subject online etc.; we highly recommend you do that. One must never stop learning.
3. Outdated contact details: Many students tend to change their numbers, especially when they visit their hometown during summer/winter breaks. You need to make sure your contact number is updated on your Internshala profile (You can do so at Edit Profile), in case an employer decides to contact you. In addition, using the accounts which you most probably created in your early teens might sound a little ridiculous to the employers. Take, for example, an applicant with the mail id “firstname.lastname@example.org” who might be considered too immature by the employers. Don’t allow carelessness to cost you your internship.
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.
4. Changes in company’s requirements: Apart from the reasons mentioned above, other things also affect your applications. Sometimes the company’s requirements change, and sometimes they finalize a candidate even before they go through your application. Life is not always fair- you can’t control these factors; what you can do is work on your mistakes, and continue applying for new internships. The most important thing is that you must not stop trying. With every new application you make, you improve.
In Calvin’s words: “Life is like a topography, Hobbes. There are summits of happiness and success, flat stretches of boring routine and valleys of frustration and failure.”
So now you know some of the reasons why your application may have got rejected, and how you can fix them. If you could think of any other reason, we would love to hear it; please comment below.
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