In a highly competitive job market, employers look for candidates who show initiative and a willingness to work.
For young adults transitioning into the workforce, it is more important than ever for your resumé to demonstrate a history of work experience that distinguishes you from other candidates.
Why Do You Need Work Experience?
Employers are increasingly treating their internships and work experience programmes as a means for hiring entry level applicants, so investing your time in such a scheme is an investment in your future. Depending on what stage you are at in your education, an internship can either provide you with your first taste of invaluable ‘real world’ experience, or fine-tune your interests as you commit to pursuing a career path. For those students pursuing a career where vocational or technical training is required, there are a wide variety of courses available on-Island.
Finding an Internship
Caymanian students are lucky to have such a wide variety of work experience opportunities available to them which cater to various interests and skill sets.
The Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman offers a fantastic internship each summer which invites students into the world of hospitality.
Many of the big law and accounting firms on-Island also offer internships to students each year. These are usually advertised in the local newspaper in the months leading up to the summer break, but increasingly companies are pushing out their internship and work experience ads via social media, such as LinkedIn and Instagram.
Smaller companies may also advertise their programmes in the paper and on their social media pages so it is worth regularly checking both.
Alternatively, students can reach out to companies directly and enquire about offerings. Whether they are advertising for an intern or not, they’ll appreciate the go-getter attitude and a position might just open up!
If responding to a company’s advertisement, the application process will usually be specified in the ad’s fine print. In some instances, companies have their own application portals where applicants can upload the necessary paperwork. Usually, however, the process involves emailing a contact at the company with a cover letter and resumé. It is good practise keeping your resumé up-to-date, so that when it comes time to apply for work experience you have one less thing to prepare.
5 Reasons Why Internships are Important
Soft skills development: Soft skills are arguably just as important as hard skills when it comes to achieving success in the workplace. Soft skills enable you to effectively interact with your colleagues. Regardless of the job, you will need to be able to communicate well, work as part of a team and maintain a good attitude.
Network: An internship is a great opportunity to meet and get to know professionals in your chosen career field. Take advantage of your time working alongside established industry experts and build deeper connections. Doing so can be beneficial to your future career.
Figure out what you like: Trying out different things gives you a better idea of the career path you want to pursue. An internship can either confirm your passions, or, in the case that you didn't enjoy your experience, confirm what you don't want out of a job.
Build your resumé: Any experience gained is experience you can add to your resumé! Having a resumé that demonstrates professional experience can give you a leg up when applying for your first job out of school.
Transition into a full-time position: Although not a guaranteed outcome, some employers will headhunt previous interns as they have seen first-hand how you fit within the company and have already invested time and money into your training.
Before leaving your internship, speak with your supervisor to get feedback and a letter of recommendation. Keep in touch so that you can reach out to him or her down the line when you are in need of a reference. This is also a great way to keep yourself on your supervisor’s radar, should any future job opportunities become available.