How often did you want to apply for an internship but simply could not because you lacked experience? No more lost opportunities! Let us clear the misconception that employers seek an intern with professional experience. Instead, the candidate they prefer is someone with skills, knowledge, and the motivation to learn quickly. So, put your worries aside and take notes as we discuss how to get an internship with no experience in this blog.
Steps to Get an Internship Without Experience
Navigate the path to your first internship role with simple steps to upgrade yourself from a student to an intern. These steps will help you get an internship when you have yet to gain experience.
Want to secure your dream internship? Consider taking this internship preparation course.
How to Choose the Right Internship?
Begin your internship search by asking yourself these questions:
Q1. What is my area of interest?
This question helps you identify the field or industry in which you wish to work. Most people go for the field they have an education in, but some people may also wish to change their career paths. Internships are a great option for such individuals.
Q2. What am I skilled at?
Identifying your skills is essential, especially when you do not have experience. Align your skills with the internship opportunities available and choose the relevant vacancy for yourself.
Q3. What are my long-term career goals?
You can achieve your long-term goals easily if you plan and work on things in that direction from the beginning. Therefore, consider your goals and objectives before deciding on an internship.
Some examples of long-term career goals are as follows:
- Own a business
- Travel globally
- Become an expert in a field
- Publishing research
- Mentor other professionals
Q4. Which working model is preferable?
Decide whether you want to work from home or the office. Filter your internship opportunities accordingly. You may even select internships that offer hybrid work opportunities.
Q5. Are you willing to relocate for an internship?
The question is essential in deciding the location where you want to work. If you are open to relocating, you can search for internship opportunities anywhere in the country or abroad.
This question is often asked in interviews. It will be beneficial if you already have an answer to this. Here is how you can answer it:
- If yes, list reasons for your readiness and eagerness.
- If you are not sure, list reasons why you are interested in the internship and research alternatives to relocation.
- If your answer is no, give reasons for not wanting to relocate. Explain that certain aspects of life cannot be compromised.
For more detailed answers, you can read how to answer are you willing to relocate?
Q6. What are your stipend expectations?
There are both paid and unpaid internships available. While paid internships are preferable due to monetary benefits, unpaid internships also provide you with work experience.
You may also face this question in an interview, here are some points to consider while answering:
- Decide a stipend range rather than an individual amount.
- Research the average stipend in the field you are interested in and decide your expectations accordingly.
- Compare and decide the pay according to your skills rather than your field.
Also, check out this stipend vs salary blog to understand the difference between stipend and salary.
Upgrade Your Resume
Your resume reflects your experience, but when you do not have any, you are left thinking about how to land an internship with no experience. In such a scenario, you must upgrade or customize your resume to include the following:
- Skills You Possess: Read the job description carefully and mention those skills that align with the needs of the job. You can add soft skills, technical skills, or even self-taught skills. Check out top personal development skills that you can add to your resume.
- Projects You Have Completed: Mention any relevant or prominent projects you have completed during your school or college years, independent projects, freelance work, or blogs you have written. It shows that you take initiative. For example, when applying for a web development internship, you can work on some HTML projects.
- Knowledge of Extra Subjects: If you have certification in a specific subject other than your academic subject or have taken extra classes at your university, you can mention it as well. Be sure to include these only when relevant to your internship role.
- Volunteer Work: Volunteering is a great alternative to work experience in a resume. You can highlight your work in NGOs or individual volunteering activities.
- Extracurricular Activities: Adding about your participation in extracurricular activities (debating, dancing, painting, etc.) is beneficial too.
You can research some resume formats to draft a professional resume for your internship. Do not forget to add a resume headline to increase your chances of gaining the employer’s attention. Also, find out how to write a cover letter for an internship with no experience and check out these sample cover letter for internship.
Draft Effective Internship Request Letter
If you are wondering how to apply for an internship with no experience, the answer is simple – begin with an internship request letter. It is a letter written to the HR department or hiring manager of an organization and states why you wish to apply for an internship.
Draft an effective internship request letter that is brief and to the point, well-formatted, and conveys your intent and enthusiasm.
Interview Prep for First Internship
How to get your first internship with no experience? Begin with researching interview questions, practice them well through mock interviews, decide the dress code in advance, and ace that interview! Here are some interview tips for the first internship:
- When you do not have any work experience, it is necessary to demonstrate in the interview that you are a quick learner.
- Prepare industry-specific questions to showcase your understanding of fundamental concepts despite having no experience.
- No internship is easy; interviewers look for confident and dedicated individuals. Some tips to answer confidently are:
- Include examples in your answer.
- Prepare and answer questions using the STAR technique.
- Pay attention to the main topic of the question.
- Be concise but mention important details.
- Consider your strengths and weaknesses beforehand.
For more tips, check out how to answer interview questions confidently.
- Let your real personality shine. Give real-life examples of your skills to showcase your ability well.
- Dress appropriately. Look into the company culture and the prescribed dress code. Plan your attire accordingly a day ahead of the interview and check if it is comfortable. Here are some detailed tips on interview attire for women and interview attire for men.
Find more interview tips here. To prepare for virtual interviews, check out the top online interview tips and the blog on mastering video interview questions. These tips are also helpful when you apply for jobs for freshers.
What to Expect After Onboarding?
The onboarding process involves the orientation and training of new interns. Once you are made aware of the company culture, rules, expectations, and job responsibilities, you begin your work. Here is an overview of your work as an intern:
- Assist the Team: Interns usually assist the team with researching, preparing presentations, drafting reposts, managing social media accounts, scheduling and handling events, etc.
- Network: Interns should network with colleagues, seniors, and customers to build relationships and gain more insights into the profession.
- Learn Skills & Gain Experience: As an intern, you are expected to learn and gain experience by working on your technical and soft skills.
- Job Shadowing: This practice is about learning through indirect experience. An intern is required to observe a mentor as they perform their duties. It is to learn about the responsibilities of the role.
- Handle Multiple Responsibilities: As you progress through the internship, you will be assigned more responsibilities. Consider this as an opportunity to showcase your ability to do quality work on time.
Tips for a Successful First Internship
Here are some tips for securing your first internship and working as an intern successfully.
- Use Alternate Ways to Search for Internships: You can look for internships with the help of career centers, counselors, universities, or community groups. Check if there are any on-campus opportunities available and apply for them.
- Apply Early: Note the deadlines of internships you are interested in and apply early to increase your chances of being selected.
- Have a Positive Attitude: Try to maintain a positive attitude throughout the process of finding and applying for an internship.
- Ask Questions: While working as an intern, do not just focus on completing your daily tasks; ask questions when in doubt and stay curious about the work.
- Set Goals: Set up goals for your internship–what do you wish to achieve by the end, your approach, and your way ahead?
- Seek Feedback: Occasionally seek feedback on your work while interning to improve your skills.
- Maintain Professionalism: Remain professional throughout the internship. Maintain a formal tone in your conversations and stick to the rules and regulations of the office.
- Stay Organized: Ensure you stay organized and meet the schedules and deadlines. It shows your manager and coworkers that you are reliable.
Now you know how to get an internship with no experience. You can easily prepare and apply for your first internship with the steps above. Remember to keep these tips in mind and gain the most out of this experience, as it will pave the way for your future job prospects.
What does your dream internship look like? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below. If you’re still contemplating whether to apply for an internship or not, check out this blog on internship benefits.