How to be a Competitive Candidate for Summer Internships

photographerMany times, the first question to cross a student's mind upon completion of college is "Where do I go from here?" Often, people may find that their interests have changed or perhaps the industry they were interested in working in has suddenly become uninteresting or even boring. How does a student identify whether or not the area of study he is pursuing is following the direction he really wants to go? While there are many ways to go about answering this question, few are as informative as completing an internship. Getting field experience, networking with professionals, and taking a look around the real world are all critical components of identifying your true interests and passions.

Acquiring a temporary position is becoming more competitive each year as an increasing number of qualified candidates are vying for jobs. Just what can one do to set herself apart from the crowd? Adequately preparing essentially involves a variety of important factors including building a brand, doing research, and being professional. As you begin to prepare looking for summer internships, here are some helpful tips to assist you in being a competitive candidate.

Build a Brand

Generally, one of the first items that many people notice about a business is their brand. Often, this brand consists of a set of colors, an image, or perhaps a catchy jingle or sound. For a company to effectively build a name for themselves, it is crucial that they present key points, successes, and facts of interest in an efficient time period and in a unique way. As you begin networking and getting your name out to people you are interested in working with, consider the brand you have built and are maintaining for yourself. Are you effectively getting all of the key points across in an efficient and unique manner? Are there accomplishments you are including that are perhaps irrelevant to the position to which you are applying? Thinking about these factors will help you build a name that is sure to stand out against the other people competing for a position.

Do your Research

How important is it to do your research before applying for a position or attending an interview? So important in fact, that it could be the determining factor as to whether or not you are chosen for the position. When hiring managers are interviewing candidates for open positions, they are often interested in finding out what each person knows about the company, the position for which they are applying, and how they plan to utilize their skills to further the achievement of the company. If you enter the interview unprepared and unaware of the nature of the business, you could be setting yourself up for immediate failure.

Be Professional

Professionalism is one of the top "must-haves" when applying for any position. While it is crucial that you behave, dress, and present yourself professionally in an interview, behaving in this manner should begin from the moment you apply for a position. Initiate positive and cordial conversation with the company and follow all application instructions carefully to show your attention to detail in conjunction with professionalism.

There is perhaps no better way to become immersed in a certain industry than to gain real life experience while working alongside experts. Through your dedication to set yourself apart from other candidates by investing adequate time and resources into the application process, you may find that success will soon come your way.

Ella Gray is the author of this article. Please feel free to contact Ella Gray at [email protected] with any questions that you may have.

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