International internships have become increasingly popular nowadays, and with good reason. They provide amazing hands-on experience, give you a global perspective, expose you to new markets, help you build strong networks and most of all, help build an amazing career.
Getting these internships isn’t easy and definitely not a walk in the park. Sure, there are plenty of opportunities, but getting selected for the best international internships will take quite a bit of work.
Understanding the following things that employers look for in candidates applying for international internships, will help you put your best foot forward:
1. A polished & complete resume
Often taken for granted, a resume is often the first thing a potential employer looks at when making a decision about a prospective intern.
The attention you pay to the smallest details like grammar, punctuation and brevity, tell employers volumes about your attention to detail, dedication and especially how important the internship is to you.
Most of all, a resume that is concise, preferably limited to a single page, with only the relevant information, also goes a long way in making it past the initial scrutiny that sees majority of applications getting rejected.
2. Excellent communication skills
In any organisation, smooth flow of information and ideas within the workforce ensures efficiency and eliminates any misunderstanding that can impact work.
Your ability to communicate effectively tells an employer that you will be able to express ideas and interact with your team well.
This is something that will show in your cover letter and all other communication you may have with a prospective employer.
As a student in college or a recent graduate, you might not have prior work experience. However, the professionalism you display both before and during the selection process will show how ready you are to work & take up responsibility.
It is a sign of maturity, that will set you apart from other applicants vying for the same internship. From a polite salutation to a thank you email/note after an interview, the small things make the biggest difference sometimes.
4. Knowledge of international markets & work cultures
Another important thing an employer looks for in an international internship candidate, is knowledge of international markets or rather, the market & work culture of the country you’re going to intern in.
This is a valuable trait that sets you apart from your peers. Having a key understanding of international markets and work cultures will place you in a position to help grow a company’s business in that market.
5. Asking relevant questions during the interview
When you ask relevant questions about the work that you will be involved in, it shows your interest in working for the company.
It also shows that you’re curious to learn more. Employers prefer candidates with the inclination and ability to learn new things and who ask the right questions because those are leading indicators of faster individual growth.
6. Being confident
The confidence with which you carry yourself can show how effective you will be at your job. Confidence suggests that you are not daunted by the work and your potential responsibilities and that you have faith in your abilities.
Be careful not to be too confident though, as it may come off as being proud or arrogant. This is frowned upon in most professional organisations and can lead to rejection.
7. Willingness to adapt
As a foreign intern, you will have to adapt to a lot of things – the change of location, the work culture, the possible language barrier, etc.
Being flexible and willing to adapt will be an important aspect for you as a prospective intern. It shows that you are willing to get your hands dirty, do any kind of work sent your way and that you won’t be frazzled by difficult work, especially work with extremely tight deadlines.
An international summer internship is a big deal- so put in the time and effort it deserves. Focusing on these key areas increases your appeal in the eyes of an employer. Being able to show the value you would bring to the table, is definitely something that will score valuable brownie points.
At ConnectInc, we strive to help you get the internship of your dreams. If you’re looking for an internship abroad, in one of the fastest growing economies of the world – India – then you can apply here.
Even if you have any queries or want tips and tricks similar to the ones in this article, feel free to get in touch with us.