Are you going to intern somewhere this summer? Or are you planning to do that after your graduation? Never done it in your life? Are you willing to improve your “internship hunting capabilities”?
If so, you are just looking at the right column!
For two months I will be telling you everything about the internship, both in terms of technicalities, like the CV and the cover letter, and of attitudes, like energy and autonomy.
In a midsummer’s time: a midsummer’s internship guide.
Focus of the day is the most wanted issue: the Curriculum Vitae!
C for Curriculum Vitae
You have just decided to search for an internship. The first thing to do is writing a good Curriculum Vitae (CV): your identification card in the labour market in order to get an interview.
- personal data: date and place of birth; phone number; address and e-mail;
- education: include both schools and extra courses you have attended up to now;
- work experience: include everything you do except studying and enjoying yourself, like voluntary service; students’ associations; private lessons; summer jobs. Emphasize the work experience most consistent with your target position. I’ll go deep into “Work Experience” at the end of the column;
- language and computer skills: include certificates and an honest self evaluation. If the recruiter notices you are lying, you’ll surely be eliminated from the selection and if you pass it, you’ll make a poor figure next;
- prizes and acknowledgments/further education: may be inserted at the end of the CV or after education section;
- other information: your hobbies, which show that you are an interesting person and possibly showing useful skills for the position you’re applying for;
- reminders: attach a cover letter to the CV, when it is possible/asked for; check for mistakes; be sure to write the contacts you check regularly; customize your CV bearing in mind the employer and the position; keep it short and schematic.
Let me conclude with a final tip and a fun fact.
Tip: a good template of a CV is the one suggested by the European forums, the Europass CV, available with further advice over this topic on: http://europass.cedefop.europa.eu/en/documents/curriculum-vitae/templates-instructions
Fun fact: Would you believe that writing a CV even inspires poems? Well, the 1996 Nobel Prize for Literature winner Wislawa Szymborska is the human proof of that due to her “Writing a résumé”. But don’t worry: for your career, inspiring employers would be enough!
D for Dress Code
You are just standing in front of your wardrobe asking yourself the same old question: “What should I wear tomorrow?” The occasion is not a first date, instead a professional interview. The answer, apparently useless, is: “It depends!”
Let me explain you why. If you are applying for an investment bank or management consulting internship, you need to be perfect: dress and suit jacket for females; tie and suit for males. But if you are applying for a position in a child care centre, your perfect appearance won’t give you an advantage. Maybe you’d look like more focused on yourself rather than on the others: a minus for a care work.
Warning: in today’s world, appearance is important. But don’t be over-zealous! I mean: don’t wear heels you are not able to walk with and don’t arrive excessively elegant; penalty: you will end up looking ridiculous. For females, remember that except in some jobs, like modelling, you won’t be selected for your charm, so avoid sexy clothes and eye-catching make up and you’ll gain in terms of professionalism. In conclusion: consider both the sector of the firm and what make you feel good and professional. At work, look what your colleagues wear and do some fine tuning, if necessary.
E for Energy
You have just started an internship. Assuming that you have understood what you’re asked to do, a question arises: “How?”.
The magic word for answering is: “Energy”. That is: show your motivation and yearning of collaboration. It means: be proactive, by for instance presenting your proposals and your ideas to your tutor and colleagues. It is also a way to assess and challenge them and draw useful lessons from the present mistakes.
I’ll come back to “Yearning of collaboration” at the end of the column.
By Valentina Magri, MA student in Management at Bocconi University