Trying to land valuable HR internships can be a tough exercise.
Given the increased rate of competition and the drive to secure a position in a quality firm for the long-term, the need to impress at all junctures is critical.
This is where applicants need to be diligent, smart and acknowledge which businesses provide the best opportunity for their career development.
Whilst a blitz at the open positions sounds like the best means of opening a door, it can be the focus of a well written and well timed resume and cover letter that actually offers a pathway to an interview.
Here we will look at some of the smartest strategies to securing a role with these organisations in the field of human resources.
Study The Business and Internship First
That blitz approach that many applications take with HR internships in the desperate hope of securing a role can provide dividends, but those individuals are quickly found out when they have not studied anything about the business to begin with. When was the company founded and by whom? Where are they based? Do they receive investment from local or foreign entities? Are they in a growth cycle? Do they have ambitions for future growth and development? What is their portfolio of clients? How is their brand received within the community? The more that is known about the organisation, the easier it is to impress at the application phase and hopefully, for future interviews. The same principle applies for the internship, reading the fine print about duration, pay, roles, expected outcomes and more.
Have The Resume Reflect The Internship Role
Organisations who offer HR internships want to be able to read experiences and qualities that reflect what they are seeking in a candidate. From risk management to workforce planning or labour relations to employee development and training regimes, being able to showcase these qualities on a resume will leap off the page for prospective employers.
Highlight The Organisation Qualities Within The Cover Letter
The cover letter can be make or break with HR internships. Even if the business does not make this element mandatory – write one anyway. This will be an opportunity to gloat about all of the wonderful research that has been undertaken about the business, from its growth and ambition to the targets it wants to reach and the type of people they hire. A bit of flattery will certainly help when it comes to the cover letter.
Be Flexible With Targets and Demands
It has to be accepted that HR internships are not positions that come with healthy six figure salaries from day one. They are opportunities to impress from the ground floor, allowing young participants to build their profile within an organisation. Whilst it is immoral and illegal to offer these programs in the expectation that they will perform paid work duties, participants should scale their expectations accordingly knowing that a 2-3 week internship is merely the starting point to a longer journey. The greater the expectation for the role, the further the fall if they are not met.
Early applicants are successful applicants when it comes to HR internships. The rapid increase in competition for pre and post-graduates ensures that the early bird can catch the worm, particularly because these organisations have to begin to make assessments on key criteria from each applicant. The earlier the form is lodged complimented by a cover letter, the earlier the impression and the further ahead in the cue.
It is important note to feel letdown if applications for HR internships go cold. In many instances these programs are out of the control of the individual as the business decides to go into one direction over another. There will be many opportunities that present themselves year to year, so it is worthwhile doing the homework, making personal connections, studying the craft of human resources and putting the best foot forward.