It is widely reported that the majority of job opportunities are never formally advertised. But how do you uncover this hidden job market? In this blog, University of Warwick Politics and International Studies undergraduate Tanya Khan describes how speculative applications helped her create an opportunity in a sector that is notoriously difficult to access.
For students who don’t necessarily want to work in a large corporation or bank, it can often feel like it is impossible to secure an internship. For me, it felt like there were very few small companies that had internships advertised online. Whilst it can feel disheartening, there are definitely solutions! It can feel daunting at first, but it might be worth emailing companies directly to explain who you are and ask them if they are hiring. If you’re wondering how to go about it, continue reading!
Introduce yourself and explain how you found the company
I would recommend highlighting your degree and how you found out about the company. Be it through a simple Google search, LinkedIn or prior knowledge of the business, it can often be helpful for their team to understand how students find them.
Highlight why you are interested in working for that particular company
If there is a particular project, client or topic that interests you that the company focuses on, it is always a good idea to mention it! That way, they will know that you aren’t simply emailing every company you find on Google.
Explain exactly what you are looking for
If a company doesn’t tend to give out internships, or there is little evidence of them having a rigid intern scheme, be sure to highlight what dates you would like to work on and for how long. Since Warwick term dates aren’t the same as other universities, they might be happier to take you on for an Easter internship or one later in the summer months. This could be more beneficial as you can get a more personalised experience with the company!
Attach your tailored CV
At the end of your email, it is definitely worth providing the best ways to reach you and pointing out that your CV is attached. That way, even if the company isn’t hiring at that moment, you will be on their record!
From personal experience, I found that this approach was extremely helpful when applying to communications and public relations firms. Since these companies are less likely to have a large-scale internship scheme, it is worth contacting them directly to see what they can offer (if anything)! These firms also often don’t share their internship opportunities until around our exam time, so being proactive and contacting them now can be more convenient for you. I was very fortunate to get an offer from a public relations firm by using this approach!
Even though this might not be the same method of application as some of your friends who have internships in large corporations and banks, it will be a lot easier to get a response through this direct approach. Especially if you would rather an experience in a smaller firm, this might be a better way of applying for you!