If you’re in the midst of a HR degree or want to work in the industry, you’re probably considering applying for human resources internships. And for good reason – they’re an excellent means of improving your chances at getting a job later down the track. They also give you access to industry connections, work experience and mentoring opportunities. Many trainees end up working for the business they trained with!
This article shares everything you need to know about applying for human resources internships, starting with…
Figuring out whether it’s right for you
While this may sound obvious, it’s worth having a hard think about whether HR is really what you want to pursue a career in. Things like your lifestyle, habits and personality can influence how well you enjoy the industry. HR is suited to people who are self-motivated, organised and love people. You should also have strong communication skills. A personality test or career test may be useful to help you figure out what kind of job might best suit you.
Think about what skills and experience you possess
While the idea of human resources internships is to gain new skills and experience, it’s also important to have some relevant prior knowledge. Things like customer-service and communication skills are important. Programs can be competitive so it’s crucial that you emphasize what you have to offer.
Most human resources internships programs will expect you to be studying a bachelor’s degree in HR (and be in your second year), though they may be lenient if you have other experience or knowledge.
HR involves managing people and workforces. It requires its workers to be strong communicators with great organisational skills. You should be able to multi-task, negotiate and be decisive. Determining whether someone has been harassed, for instance, may be something you have to deal with when working. You should be empathetic, cooperative and discrete, and love a good challenge. Consider if you have any work or volunteer experience you can use to show off your skills.
Create a great resume
Having a stand-out resume is an essential part of the process of getting human resources internships. A simple, easy-to-read yet attractive design is important. And the fewer pages the better, as it keeps your reader engaged (not bogged down in pages of detail!). Tailor your experience, referees and qualifications to meet the specifications of the business you’re applying for. A polished photo of yourself is also good to add.
It’s also important to include a cover letter. This should be addressed to the business you’re applying for and should answer any questions present in their listing. Your writing should have perfect spelling and grammar.
Ace the interview
Once you’ve landed the human resources internships interview, it’s important to start preparing for it well in advance. This will make the interview easier and help you relax. Make sure you educate yourself on the company and what they expect from you. Creating an elevator pitch (two minutes or less) is also a good idea as most companies will want you to talk about yourself. Revise your goals, strengths and weaknesses and prepare a list of questions to ask them during the interview.
On the day, ensure that you are presentable. This means practice good hygiene – have a shower and brush your teeth – and dress up nicely. Smart-casual attire is usually recommended. When you arrive at the location, taking some deep breaths from your diaphragm can help to calm you.
Follow these steps and you’ll be well on your way to acing your human resources internships!