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Everything You Need To Get An Internship Without Experience ( Includes a free Sample Tailored CV to Assist You)

a picture with a golden background and a stack of white stickynotes, the top one wriiten INTERNSHIP

If you're on the hunt for an internship but haven't worked in a company before, don't worry. You might not have traditional work experience, but you probably have other experiences that are valuable to employers. Companies are looking for someone who can address their needs and add value. Here's a straightforward approach to increase your chances:

  1.  Identify and use any non-traditional work experiences you have. This could be anything from a major school project, volunteering, or any unique skills you've developed that can substitute for company experience.

  2. Start looking for internships. Discover where to find internships by using internship search engines or exploring the social media pages of companies you're interested in. They frequently post about internship opportunities

  3. Tailor your CV to align with what the employer is looking for. Once you've identified these experiences, make sure they shine on your resume. The more you can show that you're the right fit for the internship, the faster you might land it.

  4. Finally, make sure you stand out from the crowd when you apply. Highlight what makes you unique and why you would be a great addition to their team.


Identify and use any non-traditional work experiences you have

Landing an internship without prior company experience can seem daunting, but it's entirely possible by highlighting the right kind of experiences and skills.

The key is to identify and utilize non-traditional work experiences that demonstrate your capabilities and align with the internship's requirements.

Here are several options that you can leverage and Tailor in your CV to supplement company-related experience.

  • Academic Projects and Research: These can showcase your ability to handle topics relevant to the internship. Detail any significant projects, the skills you used, and what you learned, especially those that align closely with the internship's focus.

  • Competitions and Simulations: Participation in industry-related competitions, simulations, or challenges demonstrates a practical application of knowledge, problem-solving skills, and a competitive spirit.

  • Volunteering: Involvement in volunteer roles, especially those requiring skills pertinent to the internship, can be very relevant. For example, helping a non-profit with their finances or budgeting can show applicable skills.

  • Personal Projects: Personal projects are a fantastic way to demonstrate your skills, initiative, and passion for a particular field, especially when you lack formal work experience.

  • Extracurricular Activities: Involvement in clubs or societies, particularly in relevant roles, shows practical experience and working in a team.

  • Online Courses and Certifications: Completing relevant online courses or certifications can show your dedication to learning industry-specific skills. Highlight any specific, relevant coursework.

  • Part-Time Jobs or Side Hustles: Any part-time work can demonstrate transferable skills such as responsibility, time management, and teamwork.

  • Student Organizations: Active roles in student organizations are relevant, especially in leadership positions. For instance, leading a finance club at your university can provide practical experience in financial planning and budgeting.

  • Academic Achievements: If you have excelled in your coursework, particularly in subjects relevant to the internship, make sure to highlight this. High grades in relevant courses can serve as a testament to your capability and potential.

  • Workshops and Seminars: Attendance at industry-related events shows a keen interest in the field and indicates a keen interest in the field and a willingness to learn outside the classroom.

  • Staying Informed About the Industry: Keeping abreast of the latest trends and news in your field is crucial. It involves actively keeping up-to-date with the latest trends, news, and developments in the industry.

  • Start a Personal Blog or Vlog: Managing a blog or vlog on a relevant topic can demonstrate both your knowledge and your ability to communicate complex ideas effectively.

  • Networking Events and informational interviews: Participating in industry networking events or finance clubs can sometimes lead to internships. These show your interest in the field and your initiative to build professional relationships. Reach out to professionals in the industry for informational interviews. This can provide insider knowledge about necessary skills and industry expectations and may also lead to mentorship opportunities.


Start looking for Internships (Where to Find Internships)

Now that you've identified these valuable non-traditional work experiences, let's seamlessly transition into the next phase: actively searching for the most fitting internship opportunities.

By strategically leveraging various platforms and resources, you can align your unique skills and interests with the right internship positions. Here's a guide on where to find these opportunities and how to maximize your chances of securing a role that resonates with your career aspirations.

Utilize Internship Search Engines: Start with platforms like for a wide range of options. A simple Google search can also yield great results. Try specific queries like 'internships near me' or 'internships in ‘your home town' for more localized options. Below, you'll find a list of top internship websites.

Embrace Social Media: Follow your dream companies on social media. Many organizations now announce their internship openings on these platforms.

Check Regular Job Boards: These websites are not just for full-time jobs. Filter your search to find your ideal internship location.

Attend Job Fairs: While they might seem a bit old-school, job fairs are less crowded and offer unique opportunities to connect directly with hiring managers. Pro tip: show up later in the event for more one-on-one time.

Master Networking: Mastering networking, especially through informational interviews, is a key strategy for securing internships and advancing your career. An informational interview is a casual yet informative conversation with an industry professional, aimed not at securing a job but at gaining insights and advice.

Start by identifying and reaching out to professionals in your field, preferably alumni from your school, using platforms like LinkedIn. Prepare thoroughly, treating it like a real interview with thoughtful, industry-specific questions.

Remember, the goal is to build lasting relationships, not just gather contacts, so follow up with a thank you note and keep in touch by sharing relevant articles or updates. Each connection can open doors to new opportunities and referrals, expanding your network and bringing you closer to your desired internship or job. Patience and consistent practice in networking can significantly elevate your career prospects.

Visit Your Local Career Center: Career counselors can provide valuable insights into local internship opportunities and offer career path advice.

Cold Call Your Favorite Companies: It might sound intimidating, but calling 10-15 companies and persistently asking for opportunities can be surprisingly effective. Focus on smaller companies for a higher chance of success.

Internship Websites Overview:

  • A reliable source with over 6,000 listings for high school and college internships. Reviews suggest it's a legitimate site with up-to-date and varied listings.

  • Offers more than 3,500 positions in the US and UK, backed by M&L Research, a company specializing in employment data.

  • Unique for listing over 800 internships and 12,000 unpaid positions and volunteer opportunities with socially conscious organizations.

  • Connects you with 4,000 employers in 11 cities globally for those seeking an international experience.

  • Your School’s Internship Website: Ideal for networking, as many jobs are posted by alumni, giving you a better chance at those positions.


Tailoring a CV according to Employers' needs is CRUCIAL in getting an internship without experience

When tailoring your CV for an internship, it's important to highlight elements that are particularly relevant to the internship you're applying for. Here's a breakdown of how to effectively tailor each section:

  1. Education: This section should include your university, degree, expected graduation date, and GPA (if it's above 3.0). Also, list relevant coursework that's directly applicable to the internship. For example, for a finance internship, courses like Corporate Finance, Investment Analysis, and Financial Accounting are pertinent.

  2. Projects and Academic Achievements: Here, showcase any university projects or academic achievements that demonstrate skills or knowledge relevant to the internship. For example, a Market Analysis Project where you analyzed market trends and presented findings showcases analytical skills.

  3. Skills and Certifications: List technical skills that are important for the role.

  4. Volunteer Experience: If you have any volunteer experience related to the field, include it. Volunteering to teach demonstrates not only your expertise but also your communication skills and passion for the subject.

Each section of your CV should be crafted to reflect how your educational background, skills, and experiences make you an ideal candidate for the internship. The goal is to demonstrate that you have a foundational understanding of the field and the potential to grow and contribute as an intern.

Tailoring your CV in this manner helps you stand out to employers by clearly showing how your profile aligns with the requirements and nature of the internship.


Stand out from the Crowd and get the internship

Once you have done that then use these tips and tricks to stand out from the crowd and get an internship without experience

  1. Tailor Your Application: As earlier stated this is one of the crucial initial steps. Customize your resume and cover letter for each internship application. Highlight relevant coursework, projects, and extracurricular activities that align with the company’s needs and the role’s requirements.

  2. Showcase Unique Skills and Experiences: Highlight any unique skills or experiences that could be beneficial in the role. This could be anything from proficiency in a foreign language to experience with specific software or tools, or even unique hobbies or interests that demonstrate valuable skills.

  3. Build a Strong Online Presence: Create or update your LinkedIn profile, and consider an online portfolio if applicable. Share content related to your field, engage with industry topics and connect with professionals. This demonstrates your commitment to your career interests.

  4. Network Effectively: Attend industry events, webinars, or seminars. Reach out to professionals in your field for informational interviews. Networking can sometimes lead to opportunities that aren’t advertised.

  5. Exhibit Your Passion: Show your genuine interest in the field. This could be through a personal blog, a YouTube channel, or active participation in relevant online forums or communities.

  6. Engage in Continuous Learning: Stay updated with industry trends and engage in continuous learning. Mention any relevant courses or certifications you’re pursuing in your application.

  7. Prepare for Interviews thoroughly: If you get an interview, research the company extensively. Prepare to discuss industry trends, your specific interests, and how your background makes you a good fit for the role. Have insightful questions ready to ask the interviewer.

  8. Follow-up: After submitting an application or attending an interview, send a thank you note reiterating your interest in the position and highlighting how you can contribute to the company.

  9. Demonstrate Problem-Solving Skills: In your application and interview, focus on how you've used your skills to solve problems or achieve results, even in non-work-related scenarios. This could be through projects, volunteering, or other activities.

  10. Show Resilience and Adaptability: Employers value candidates who can adapt to different situations and overcome challenges. Share experiences that showcase these traits.

  11. Seek Feedback: If you've applied for internships before and haven't been successful, don’t hesitate to ask for feedback. This can provide valuable insights into areas for improvement.

  12. Professionalism: Always maintain a high level of professionalism in every interaction, whether it's an email, phone call, or interview. This creates a positive impression and sets you apart as a serious candidate.

To further assist you on this internship quest, we've crafted a sample-tailored CV that you can explore. This resource is designed to guide you in presenting your experiences and skills in the best light possible.

Securing an internship without traditional work experience may seem challenging, but with a strategic approach, it becomes an exciting opportunity to showcase your unique strengths. By recognizing and utilizing non-traditional work experiences, tailoring your CV to emphasize relevant skills, and actively seeking opportunities through various channels, you position yourself as a standout candidate.

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Wishing you the best of luck on your internship journey! Remember, every experience, whether traditional or not, contributes to your professional growth.


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