10 things we wish interns knew. | In conversation with Rishabh Gupta,...

10 things we wish interns knew. | In conversation with Rishabh Gupta, CEO, Letsintern.

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Gone are the days when vacations in-between colleges meant only chilling out and hanging out with friends.Internships are becoming a rule than an exception, in India as well. Keen on getting an early start, students are increasingly looking at internship opportunities in companies small and large.

Rishabh Gupta,CEO and Co-Founder of Letsintern,  one of the most prominent job portals exclusively dealing with internships, talks about top 10 things he’d like to advice interns about.

1. Don’t be stuck up about what you want to do:
This holds true more so if it’s your first internship. Internships are supposed to help you explore possible career options.Be open to the kind of role you are offered. Be prepared to explore. Because if you can’t be open-minded and willing to explore possibilities at the beginning of your career, when else can you be?

2. Lower your expectations:
Many interns believe that they will be able to affect change and do great things in the organisations that hire them.Remember, you’re way down the pecking order and so there is a good chance that you will have little impact on the way an organisation works.Tone down the expectations you have from your internships. Focus rather on what you can learn from your various stints.

3. If you don’t have a clear career objective at 18, it is OKAY!
Many young applicants struggle when they have to write their career objective.When they can’t come up with anything, most of the resort to writing in cliches like: ‘I hope to learn, contribute and succeed and while I grow personally, also contribute to the success of the organisation’. Here’s the thing: You need not fret about career objectives at 15 or 18. If you don’t have a career objective, leave the column blank.

4. That one thing you did in third standard? No one wants to know about it!
Highlight only those achievements from your school life that you think will be important from the company’s perspective.If you’ve won a prize, in let’s say coding a site and are applying in the IT sector or have won a scholarship for your drawing skills and are applying for a creative job, highlight those achievements. But as far as possible, focus on your achievements in the last couple of years.

5. Spell-check is your friend:
Most interns are so used to texting they don’t realize that language makes its way into their resumes and email conversations too.Know that there is a difference between sending an SMS and an email. Ensure your covering letter doesn’t have errors and isn’t very long.Do not write more than one or two paragraphs introducing yourself. As many as 50 per cent of the CVs we receive have simple English mistakes that can be avoided by simply proof-reading it or simply running a spell-check!

6. We really don’t want to know what your parents do!
Several interns mention their parents’ profession in their CVs and interviews. This is avoidable because companies are hiring YOU, not your parents. So your dad’s in the Time 100 list? We don’t really want to know. No one wants to look at your parents’ credentials in your CV. By mentioning your parents, the message you give you is you aren’t confident and choose to fall back on them for backup. Also, recruiters go through tons of CVs every day. If they do not see relevant information upfront, there are good chances you they will reject your application even before they see it.

7. Soft skills are great but…
People skills and communications skills are all very great but know that they need not always form part of your core competency. I find that a lot of students studying design and technical courses are clearer about their skill-sets. This isn’t the case with many liberal arts students who tend to have open ended courses. Ask yourself what you are really good at, what you are passionate about and talk of that instead.

8. Don’t mistake fascination for a hobby:
Reading, travelling and music are the most oft-listed hobbies in CVs. But rarely are they substantiated in interviews.If you list reading, you should be able to take questions on authors and their books. Ditto for music — if you’re listening to just as much music as your other friends, avoid writing about it. This holds true for any other hobby you’ve listed in your resume.Pursuing a hobby assumes certain depth about the subject. If in an interview, you are unable to take questions about what you follow, you leave a terrible impression on your interviewer.

9. Creative resumes might not do wonders for you:
So you’ve read about that guy who got himself a job because of his super-creative resume and you want to replicate it? Unless it demonstrates your specific talent, do not do it.

Surely creative resumes make you stand out, lend you that exclusivity but know that they do not work all the time.It makes sense to have a creative resume if, let’s say you’re a design student or a tech student who want to show off your programming skills.Think of it, how would a creative CV help if you’re an economics graduate and are looking for a job in the finance sector or are applying for a job in sales? Unless your resume highlights a particular skill, don’t try to reinvent the wheel. Stick to the tried-and-tested CV format.

10. Don’t forget your contact details:
Surprised? Good!  25 to 30 per cent of the applicants forget to enter their contact details, which leaves us with no choice but to drop their CVs. A note here about your email ids: Avoid using the cutesy ones you’ve created in school! Ensure you have a professional-sounding email id.

This article is taken from Rediff

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