5 Tips & Tricks to Land an Internship

Ah… internships – deeply coveted by all students, but undoubtedly also one of the more stressful parts of being a university student. Reslife has touched on the topic of internships in our previous articles – Internship 101, Ways to Ace Your Internships, and Finding Your (Out)Fit For Interviews, but what we haven’t discussed is perhaps most pressing of all – how do you even find an internship? If you want to know how to land the internship of your choice, read on as we reveal the five most important tips and tricks to do so!


1. Cast Your Net Far and Wide

Possible places you can find suitable internships to apply for
(Sources: NUS, LinkedIn, Google Jobs)

Where do you even find internships to apply to? Well, there are many different places you can visit. Most obvious of all would be NUS’s own job search portal, TalentConnect. The good thing about applying on TalentConnect is that the internship opportunities on the portal have been posted by employers who are specifically looking to hire NUS students – this means that there might be a higher chance of you successfully landing the internship. Applying on the portal is also straightforward, as all you need to do is submit a copy of your resume, as seen in the picture below.

Search for possible internship opportunities on NUS TalentConnect

Applying for internships on NUS TalentConnect is fuss-free!

Although TalentConnect is a great place to source for internships, not every single internship opportunity can be found on the portal. If you feel like you can’t find an opportunity that suits you, don’t be afraid to venture out and apply on other job-search websites! A quick Google search of to find internships in a field you’re interested in can yield multiple results, and is a convenient way to source for internships that interest you.

Google search for internship opportunities and apply directly through the link provided

Other than TalentConnect and Google, another great place to land an opportunity is none other than LinkedIn. Click the “Jobs” tab and browse possible internships that interest you. The great thing about LinkedIn is that you might even find recruiters on the site actively looking to hire interns for specific companies.  If so, don’t be shy – slide into their DMs and ask about the position you’re interested in!

Search for internships on LinkedIn

Spots for internships are few and far between, so don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Apply for multiple opportunities and apply on different platforms and portals to maximise your chances!


2. Referrals & Connections are Key

Source: Insperity

Hands down the easiest way to land an internship you really want is to get someone currently working in the company, or an ex-intern to refer you to their boss or the recruiter. You will probably still have to attend an interview before landing the job, but it speeds up the process tenfold as you don’t have to worry about your resume getting lost amongst the hundreds of other applicants. This is why forming connections and networking is so important, and why maintaining a professional LinkedIn account is essential. (For tips on how to set up a great LinkedIn account, read: 5 Ways to Ace the LinkedIn Game).

On LinkedIn, it’s easy to view whether one of your connections has previously held a position at a company you’re interested in. If so, don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for a possible referral, or even just tips on how to stand out amongst the pool of other candidates.


3. Tailor Your Resume to the Job

Highlight your experiences and achievements that are most relevant to the job
(Source: Novoresume)

It’s tempting to just dump all your achievements in your resume, but recruiters have many applicants to sieve through. They don’t have the time to filter all the information you put on the page to discern your most relevant experiences and accomplishments. This is why it is of pivotal importance that your resume is succinct (one to two pages), and is tailored to the job you are applying to.

The best way to do this is to read the job description and the requirements, and ensure that upon a quick glance of your resume, recruiters will be able to see that you meet all the requirements. For instance, if the job you’re applying to is design related, move all your design related experience to the top of your resume, and you may choose to leave out information that doesn’t show that you meet the specific job requirements. This might mean that you will have different resumes for different applications, but the extra work will pay off.

Lastly, if you want to ensure that your resume is crafted to perfection, NUS has a handy tool called VMock which uses artificial intelligence to provide personalised feedback on your resume. Your resume is the first impression a recruiter gets of you, so do your best to leave a lasting positive impression.


4. Prepare Well for Your Interview

Source: iStock

Congratulations, you made it to the interview round – essentially the last hurdle you have to overcome before landing the internship! This is the time for you to really sell yourself and show your recruiter or employer that you are the right person for the job. You may not know all the questions that they’re going to ask, but that doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t prepare for the interview. Furthermore, going into an interview well-prepared shows the recruiter that you’re keen on the job and that you are responsible. So how do you prepare?

First, make sure you have the answers down for the common questions asked in interviews – questions such as, “Tell me about yourself.”, “Why do you want this internship?”, and “What are your strengths and weaknesses?”.

Next, research extensively about the company, as well as the role that you will be taking up. You can expect questions that might test how much you know about the company, such as “How can the company improve?”, “What has the company done well in?”, and questions that are more specific to your role – eg. “Tell us about marketing projects you have done in the past.”.

Once all the main questions have been asked, you can be sure that every interview will end off the same – “Do you have any questions for us?”. Absolutely do not say “no”! This is a great opportunity for you to not only clarify any concerns, but also demonstrate your interest in the company and the role and show that you have been thinking deeply about the internship. Ask about the projects that you will be embarking on, the work culture, pitch a novel idea you hope to implement – if this internship is something you’re really interested in, you should be bursting with questions (but don’t overdo it!).

Once again, if you need help practicing for your interview, you can do so on VMock Interviews, an artificial intelligence programme that gives you feedback on your responses and even body language.


5. Start Applying Early

Source: Fastweb

There are numerous reasons as to why you should apply early. First, most companies take a while to get back to you. Hence, make sure you apply early so that you still have time to look for other internships should you not land a role in your first round of applications.

Companies also recruit early for summer and winter internships, so to maximise your chances of landing an internship, you should be applying at least two to three months in advance for a position. However, many companies also do hire closer to the internship start date, so don’t stress out too much if you’re a little late on applying. The bottom line is that the earlier you apply, the more likely you are to end up with an internship you want.


An internship is an exciting and meaningful experience that will push you to learn much and grow much. Don’t take up an internship just for the sake of it, but think about what fields you are interested in exploring and start from there. We hope that these tips have been useful, and Reslife wishes you all the best in your internship hunt!


Did we miss out any tips on finding internships? Tell us in the comments or DM us on our IG @nusresidentiallife !

Bethany Low

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