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Internships: how to get started

There is a lot to do to ensure you can get the internship you're looking for. Follow our tips on how to get organised and give yourself the best chance of succeeding.

By taking the initiative when it comes to planning for your internship you can give yourself the best chance of standing out from the competition. Don't leave everything until late in the day, it will just cause you stress and you will find that many of the positions that you are interested in may already have been filled.

1: Your careers service

This should be your first port-of-call, if you haven't booked an appointment with your university's careers service you should do so immediately. They can tell you what internships are on offer, if they have a placement programme and how it operates. By booking a consultation with your careers service, you can start putting a plan for your career in place.

2: Do your research

Your university will likely have a university careers newsletter, sign up for it and find out what's going on. Visit your institutions careers website frequently and register for updates. Register for gradireland.com, while searching online is not the only way to go about searching for an internship they will give you.

3: See what's really involved

Career advisory content like gradireland's Get started section are extremely useful when it comes to seeing what's actually involved in day to day jobs in many career sectors. Check out the videos, study the career paths and see what direction would suit you. Your careers service should also be able to direct you toward an online psychometric test, which can help you decide what career would suit your strengths and skills.

4: Build a professional profile

Get on LinkedIn and build your profile page and start extending your network. By doing this you are already making yourself visible to employers and creating a template which you can use to refine and enhance your CV. Read about the best way to use LinkedIn here. Also, why not set up a separate email address for anything to do with your career, something professional sounding and set it up on your phone, so you won't miss anything if a recruiter gets back to you.

5: Know the deadlines

Some career paths, particularly those in the areas of finance, law or management consulting are especially competitive and you will put yourself in a far better position if you start seeking some relevant experience in your first year in university.