How can an internship help future employment?

In a strong job market, some may deliberate why they’d bother with an internship?

Generally, internships are unpaid (which is a downside) so it’s important to understand why they enhance future job prospects specifically your employability so greatly. It’s not just about getting the job (albeit it helps!) but more so being ready and prepared to do well in the role.

Surveyed companies identified the two biggest challenges right now when recruiting candidates into graduate roles are the lack of technical skills (68%) and soft skills (56%) – essentially meaning most don’t meet the requirements of the role advertised.

Companies who host Interns and/or run internship-based programs do so as an active part of their recruitment strategy with 38% looking to fill on-going permanent roles, and 27%, seeking cover in short term contract/temp project roles.

Looking at this from a graduate’s perspective, this means there are jobs on offer so it’s in your interest to put your best foot forward.

With the above statistics in mind, here are a few reasons to why an internship will improve your job search and make you a more attractive, sought-after candidate:

Work Experience
You may want a job in IT or Accounting, and have the university qualifications to do so, but only have work experience in retail or hospitality.

As we know, hands-on experience could be the difference of a job becoming a reality. To get your foot in the door, any relevant industry experience would be seen as a positive and something which will set your resume apart from the next candidate. Understandably, an employer will always prioritise industry work experience over no industry experience.

Also importantly, 12 weeks of on-the-job training will allow you to put your technical skills to the test in real-life scenarios to build your confidence, as well as provided you opportunities to experience how a business environment runs day-to-day.

Mentorships

A great mentor is priceless for anyone, at any stage of their career, but especially as you start out. Having an industry professional to lean on, seek counsel and guide or coach you helps boost awareness, increase confidence, and expose you to new and different perspectives.

An internship will provide you your first mentor as there is always a key person in charge of interns (and/or the program) who has a vested interest in your development. The ball is in your court to where you take it, but it provides an opportunity to learn from them and network!

Networking
The benefits of networking will extend long past your first job and provide valuable contacts for the duration of your working life. An internship will often be the first opportunity for a graduate to expand and build their network with mentors and colleagues within the company, and by virtue of working in a set field, industry professionals.

It may seem daunting at first but will be one of the best ways to secure employment and job prospects through long-lasting relationships that could lead to future opportunities.

Hands-On Learning

Naturally as well as gaining new and improving technical skills by undertaking day-to-day tasks, an internship provides many opportunities to learn on the job. This can include understanding cultural expectations, handling pressure and deadlines, working within a team and best-practice communication within a real-life business. This form of learning will be invaluable when you join the workforce in a full-time capacity and help you not only keep a role but impress and move forward.

We also suggest every graduate views an internship as the chance to trial a career. You think you want to be a Business Analyst – but you’ve never actually done a BA role. Will you enjoy it?! Getting a taste of what a job is like will help you decide if this is the career path you want to follow.

Our advice – get ahead of the pack by undertaking an internship. At the end of the day, it’s a positive and useful step towards ensuring your name is at the top of the YES pile when it comes to job applications and will be the difference in you being ready to take on a role and succeed in it.

Remember, the sacrifice of 12 weeks of time, could change your overall working life in a major way!

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