“Get up earlier to enjoy more daylight, hand your homework in early, be the first to sign up for a new class before seats fill up…” you’ve heard the ‘early bird’ advice before, but that’s because it’s a valuable habit to have. “The early bird gets the worm” sits in the wheelhouse of, “everything in moderation”, “patience is a virtue” and “hot buttered popcorn will mend a broken heart”- phrases that become overused cliches because they are true and applicable to almost any situation (the popcorn one may not be a cliche or even a phrase…yet). In regards to internships, particularly graduate schemes, getting your application in early can mean the difference between advancing to the next stage and being left out of the running entirely. Graduate schemes and internships receive more and more applicants each year and competition is higher than ever, given that, “more people now gain a university or college qualification than have GCSEs or A-levels as their highest qualification“. How can you make sure you’re ahead of the pack and well prepared to apply for your dream internship?
Don’t leave it til later – Start applications as soon as possible, even if you start at the middle of one and work around it. That way you’ll find it much easier to build momentum. You don’t know what could happen ‘later’, particularly if you have just started, returned or graduated from university. This is a hectic time with unexpected situations to come. Holding it off will turn into waiting for the Christmas holiday which turns into ‘after the new year’ and before you know it, it’s Easter and you have no opportunities lined up.
Be confident – Often, the thing holding people back from going for what they want is the belief that they ‘wouldn’t get it anyway’. Stop it – you’re better than that! Apply for competitive programs, enter a contest, ask somebody out on a date – the worst that can happen is you are exposed to life’s hearty doses of rejection (which will come whether you want them to or not) and you add a few things to your ‘what not to do’ list, and that outcome is a win in itself.
Reap what you sow – The more you apply to, the better chance you have at receiving responses. Improve your probability of advancing to the next stages of an application by submitting yourself as a candidate to as many vacancies as possible. Make sure they are actually opportunities you want to have, however. Blindly applying for positions is a waste of yours and the employer’s time.
Follow employers – No, not in a stalker-ish way. Find your target companies and follow their profiles to stay up to date on their activity. On Intern Avenue, employers have a profile which you can follow, so you are the first to know about their open opportunities and you’ll receive immediate job updates. Follow Lloyds Banking Group Plc’s Intern Avenue page to be the first to apply for their scheme, which opens soon.
Make a profile that employers can find – A great starting place would be…Intern Avenue. Of course we would say that. But a candidate profile with us is completely free, all the vacancies we post are paid and employers are able to headhunt you by searching for their desired criteria. What more could you want?
First come first served – Employers are incredibly busy, and often they receive the amount of applicants they want well before the application deadline, so all of those who submit their applications close to or on the deadline may not even have their submissions looked at. Harsh, but a reality. So get in there first!
Make your own deadlines – They should be before the actual deadline, if you hadn’t already gathered. Tell yourself that you will complete, say, ten applications this week, and you may even find yourself surpassing these goals.
Ask for advice! If you know somebody who is in the position you want, or who has a wealth of experience behind them, ask them for a little insight. Tutors, parents and siblings are just a few others you can squeeze guidance out of, too.
Applications for several popular Graduate and Internship Programs will open on Intern Avenue shortly. Those who maintain the ‘get in early’ mentality will have a greater chance of finding opportunities, even if they don’t have the best grades among their peers. See our other blogposts for tips and guides on getting through application processes, and stay tuned for more in the run up to graduate-scheme application season!