INTERNSHIPS / JAN. 16, 2016
version 8, draft 8

Should I Apply For An Internship If I’m Not Qualified?

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Internships are great anyway you look at it. Companies can hire talent for low pay (or no pay at all for that matter) while graduates can get first-hand experience of what working in the field they are interested in, is really like. While companies can exploit this talent to increase their profit, the practice of internships should not be frowned upon as interns can also learn a lot.

See Also: The Benefits of a Summer Internship [Infographic]

In fact, most graduates know that they only way up is through an internship, which is why internships are so popular, and competition is so fierce. Very few graduates end up with the internship they were after every year, and many graduates sink into depression and career disorientation precisely because they didn’t get the internship they were after. And it’s exactly because the competition is so fierce, that we’ve come to believe that the only way to get an internship is if you have all the qualifications everyone else has -and a bit more.

However, long before the internship period is over with, many interns are on the brink of burnout, while many realize that they either dislike their profession or that they can’t handle a career in that profession. While there’s nothing wrong with making this realization, and it’s always better to find what you are suited for and what you are not suited for before too long, it goes to prove that candidates with the right qualifications will not always make the best interns.

Could You Do It?

It goes without saying that there are some professions where you can’t be lacking in academic requirements when applying. For example, you shouldn’t apply for a computer programming internship if you do not know anything about coding, but there are other professions where academic requirements can serve as guidelines, rather than instructions.

Take, for example, an internship position in a newspaper. You’d expect that the best candidate for the job would be someone with a journalism major, experience in a college newspaper and some freelance work behind his back, but the truth is that any talented candidate would be ideal for the job whether he fills the minimum requirements or not. It might take longer to break him into the job, but as soon as he’s well trained there’s a good chance you’ll end up with a jewel in your hands.

What You Need to Do

Companies are now focusing on hiring talent, which means that even if you don’t have the right qualifications you shouldn’t let that stop you from applying for an internship. The key is to highlight all your skills in such a manner that the hiring manager can’t help but think that you’d be right for the job.

To convince the hiring manager of this, it all comes down to your CV and cover letter. These should highlight all your skills in such a manner that it makes them relevant to the skills required for the position. You should also make sure to mention that you would be willing to attend classes and seminars to expand your knowledge and expertise, and you should never forget to stress that you would do anything to become better at your job.

See Also: How to Get an Internship With The Telegraph

The truth is that if you’ve realized that you want to work in a field you don’t have the requirements for, it can be tough. But that does not mean that it’s impossible, it all comes down to promoting yourself. If you are willing to go the extra mile and work hard then you stand a chance, all you need to do is to convince the hiring manager that you’d be the best damn investment he’s ever made.

Have you ever applied and failed to get an internship you really wanted? Why do you think you were rejected? Your thoughts and comments below please...

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