With 600,000 graduates currently unemployed in South Africa and another 150,000 scheduled to join the queue in 2015, competition for first jobs is pretty fierce. The Adzuna team has been put on our research hats, and we think there is one great trick you could consider to get yourself ahead of the game and give you a good chance of getting a permanent role. Internships may the key to this conundrum – and here are five reasons we think that:
Internships look good on your CV. Interning is a great way to get some of that most valuable of commodities – industry experience. A relevant internship in the field that you want to go into will set you apart from all the other jobseekers. There may thousands of people with similar qualifications, and hundreds with passion and ambition to match your own, but doing an internship demonstrates that you are also dedicated, smart and forward-thinking. It also means that you will have a proven track record of successful tasks and projects, something few other entry level candidates will be able to claim
They can teach you lots. There is only so much you can learn from classes and text books! Getting an internship is a great opportunity to put all the theory, you’ve spent the past couple of years filling your brain with, into practice and develop hands on practical skills and an in depth understanding of the work place. It doesn’t just stop there either; you will also get first-hand experience of office etiquette and go through the joys of the daily commute to work, which is great if that kind of stuff is little bit alien to you. You can get to grips with real work tasks and become more confident in your own abilities. This will come in handy when you next get a call for an interview.
It could lead to a permanent job. Completing an internship is a win-win situation, if you do well, a good reference may well be on the cards and if there is space, the employer may even offer you the job of your dreams. Loads of employers now use internships as trial runs to see if they like and can work with you. In fact some companies go so far as to only allow people who have been through one of their internships or work placements to apply for full time jobs or for their graduate schemes.
You can make some useful contacts. People who work in a particular industry generally have friends who also work in that industry. It’s often not what you know but who you know that can help you when it comes to finding jobs networking is really important. So keep your LinkdIn profile up to date and make sure that you leverage your new connections.
You might be able to earn a bit of cash. While lots of internships are unpaid or expenses only, there is always the chance that you will find one that can earn you a little bit of pocket money. Now is a great time to look for paid roles because the Employment Tax incentive is encouraging companies to give young people a chance to prove themselves and find work by subsidising wages.
Internships let you take a career for a test drive. You don’t want to start a new job to realise a few months later that you hate the job and you made a mistake in going into the industry. Equally an internship lets you play at being a professional and if you don’t know what kind of area of work you want to go into, it’s a great way to try a few things out and see what you like. If you do an internship and you don’t like it, stick it out to the end and then try something different. This way you will be happy to go to work every day instead of hating being tied into a first job that is not right for you..
Luckily for you, there are loads of internships on Adzuna for you to have a look at. So if we have managed to convince you that one could improve your chances of landing your perfect graduate job, you can go and check them out.