How to be a successful intern

Updated: Sep 20

Internships at big companies are more competitive than ever. It’s not enough to send in your resume and cover letter anymore. If you want that dream internship, you need to stand out from the pack. Current research shows that internships are one of the most effective ways to land a job after graduation. In fact, statistics show that 80% of professionals with an internship on their resume get offered a job interview within 12 months of their internship ending. However, this doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy for you too! In today’s fast-paced world where everything is digital, you really have to think outside the box in order to stand out from the rest of the applicants when applying for that dream internship. Keep on reading for some useful tips on how you can be a successful intern .

Build your own personal brand

One of the best ways to stand out from the crowd is by building your own personal brand. You may have heard the term “personal brand” before, and if you’re not sure what it means, don’t worry, we’re going to break it down for you. A personal brand is basically an online identity that you create for yourself and which then becomes the basis for your future job prospects. It’s all about how you want to be and what you want others to think of you as. It’s important that you create and nurture your brand at all times, even if you’re not in the process of looking for an internship.

Network like crazy

No matter how good your CV and cover letter is, networking is still one of the best ways to get your foot in the door. Not only does it help you to make connections at the company you want to work at, but it also gives you a chance to explore other opportunities. Networking can be done through a wide range of activities, from joining relevant clubs or societies at college to hosting your own events, and everything in between. If you want to be a successful intern, you need to reach out to as many people as possible, and the best way to do this is by networking.

Research the company and role

If you’re applying for an internship, you’re going to need to find a company that you’re interested in working for. This doesn’t just apply to the one you send your CV to though. You should be interested in all the companies you want to work for. By researching the company and the role, you’re going to be able to tailor your application to fit their needs. This is much more likely to get you the internship than applying to a company that you’re not interested in. You should also try and find out everything that you can about the company’s culture. By doing this, you’ll be able to answer questions such as “What makes this company so special?” and “Why would I want to work there?”

Build your resume and portfolio

This is an important part of being a successful intern. A lot of companies are now asking for digital portfolios from their candidates. Having a portfolio that showcases your skills and passions is a great way to stand out from the crowd. Building a digital resume or portfolio on sites such as LinkedIn, Behance and Squarespace is a fantastic idea. It allows you to organize your work and present it in a way that is easy for potential employers to navigate through.

Take risks and be flexible

One of the most important things to remember when applying for an internship is to take risks and be flexible. Sometimes you’re going to need to take risks to stand out from the crowd. This could include changing up your usual style of writing, using a bolder colour in your portfolio, or even approaching the employer in a different way than they’re used to. You never know what is going to make you stand out from the rest of the crowd, so don’t be afraid to be flexible.


Being an intern is a big commitment, but it’s certainly worth it in the long run. Internships provide you with hands-on experience and exposure to different industries that you may not be exposed to in your classroom or campus setting. Furthermore, you get the chance to network with potential mentors and colleagues who can help you to advance your career. If you want to be a successful intern, you need to stand out from the crowd. It’s not enough to send in your resume and cover letter anymore. Instead, you need to think outside the box. By building your own personal brand, networking like crazy, and researching the company and role, you’re going to be one step closer to that dream internship!