This post was written by Roberta Lemgruber from Brazil, first year MSc in Strategic Marketing Management student.
Taking an internship is the perfect opportunity to apply the theoretical knowledge from the bachelor or master while acquiring valuable working experience. However, getting the desired position is still consider a challenge for several students. Generally, students struggle when sending applications—Curriculum Vitae (CV) and motivation letter—for the companies they would like to work for.
Sometimes, the young professionals have no previous knowledge about what can make them stand out among so many other good students from the same university. In order to help the undergraduates being successful in their applications, the Career Services Center from BI Norwegian Business School holds an employability course which aim at clarifying all the important steps. Here, you can check the best five tips from the workshop and boost your application for internship in Norway.
- Find out the skills you have developed from your studies or other experiences.
What have you learned during your courses? Think about all angles—academic, hard and soft skills. For example: in the Strategic Management course, you develop your analytical skills. Also, if you had to work in groups on case resolutions, you have practiced your communication and problem-solving skills.
Do not forget to analyze what you have learned from other experiences, such as: volunteering, part-time or full-time jobs. After understanding what your skills are, it will be easier to show how you can use what you have learned, demonstrating for employers that you have what they need.
- Discover more about who you are and your personal skills.
What is your typical approach when you need to solve a problem? This kind of situation says a lot about who you are, and the companies are concerned about it as well. In the application process and during an interview, students need to know what their personal qualities are and exemplify when they used those competences, giving credibility to their affirmations.
There are two exercises any student can do to facilitate this process. First, you can ask a friend to help in the reflection. Second, you should think about the personal skills that best describe you, write three of them and provide one example or situation where you have applied the skill.
- Comprehend why do you want the job.
Your reason to apply for such position is one of the most important things that companies will analyze while looking at your motivation letter or when interviewing you. Understanding the industry, the company and what the job position requires and offers are just part of this reflection. What makes you desire to work there instead of other firms? Try to write it in a paper and do a brainstorm about it—this can simplify the process and bring some answers.
- Tailor the CV for the position!
The resume is one of the most important documents in a job application for internship. Also, recruiters always reinforce how this document is all about “first impressions” since they spend just some seconds scanning the CV. So, it is extremely important to create something easy to read in a good format. Spelling mistakes should not occur, and it is essential to review more than once the entire content.
Begin with a good analysis of the job advertising to understand what they expect from you for the position. It is not necessary to meet all the qualifications to apply for the company. The students are expected to show their experience, theoretical background, and ability to grow and develop inside the company.
Moreover, the most relevant experiences must be mentioned, but without exceeding the desirable 1-page size CV for a graduate. Interests outside the university can also appear because some firms enjoy having a perspective about the candidate’s personality and hobbies.
Sometimes, the first one to scan the CV is a software and it is important to tailor the document using keywords related to the job description. Kate Aunaas Ingram, Vice-President, Global Employer Branding & Talent Management at Orkla emphasized in a presentation at BI the importance of “Mastering the application stage” how important it is to mention not only what you have done such as your responsibilities, but also the successful things you did, the achievements and tangible results from experiences or previous internships.
- Customize every Cover letter!
The cover letter also known as motivational letter is one of the most important resources in a job application. Through this document, it is possible to show what kind of motivation you have in order to apply for the position while providing an impression of who you are.
Some questions are valuable while writing the motivation letter. For example:
Why this applying for this company and position? What are your skills? Why should they hire you and where do you want to go in your career?
Remember to use examples presenting the context, the actions in each circumstance and the results that you achieved in the specific situation. In addition, the cover letter should show the working experience in connection with the job you are applying to, so it is crucial to tailor it and avoid clichés or other generic statements. Finally, one page is the pattern size.
Good luck! Lykke til!