How To Avoid Common Mistakes When Applying For Internships

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While for many of us, it’s the beginning of summer vacation, it’s the time of year to begin thinking about  internships for others too. Believe it or not, deadlines for internships are very short, so now is the time to get thinking about how to succeed in your search and application.

So you want to get a career experience this year! You applied online or send your application package via email and unfortunately you have been rejected several times.

You were wondering why? Today I am going to show you how to avoid common mistakes that applicants usually made in order to increase your chances of getting accepted.

1. Your profile doesn’t match the job description

The majority of students got rejected for this reason. Before applying to any internship position, you need to search for what suits your field of study, your skills and previous experience. Use the filters (if they’re available) and analyse the job description well to see whether this vacancy matches your profile or not before applying.

2. You apply for few number of opportunities

Internships are competitive and usually a lot of students are applying for the same position(s). Don’t sell yourself short by only applying to a couple of internships. There isn’t an exact number of applications you should submit, but you should cast a wide net.

“It’s helpful to create a list or spreadsheet of some kind to keep track of those applications you have already submitted, the status of those applications and other internships that you would like to apply to down the road. Keeping things organized in this way will help you stay on task with deadlines and remember when it’s necessary to follow up”.

Says Katherine Nobles, a career coach at Stanford University.

We also advise you to tailor your CV according to the needs of each vacancy.

3. Your CV is not attractive

Still no appointment for internship interviews? You may need to review how to write your resume. Whether you make it too general, you didn’t prove yourself or it contains a lot of grammar mistakes and useless details. You have to be careful about the quality of information you put inside your resume. This paper decides if you’re eligible for an interview meeting or not.

Check out our CV writing guidelines for a perfect CV.

4. You didn’t convince in your motivational video

Some employers require a motivational video or what recruiter called “Resume video” from applicants. They need to answer questions like why you think you’re the best candidate for this position?

Not respecting the deadline, the duration or the quality of the video and most importantly failing in proving yourself by giving the same answers that doesn’t differentiate you from the others are the main mistakes in this step.

Check this article for video resume tips that would help you convince recruiters during your application process.

5. You didn’t prepare well for your interview

Generally, the next step during the application process is doing an interview with the company’s recruiting team. This is your chance to show yourself and convince them to choose you among the other applicants. In order to be ready for your D Day just prepare answers for these questions:

  • What are your future career goals? (Keep this brief though, as the employer probably just wants to know that the internship will be relevant for. You and that you could perhaps become a candidate for a full-time position.)
  • What related courses have you taken?
  • What skills have you learned from other experiences that you can use in this internship?
  • How can you solve a problem that they are facing?

Read this article for more interview tips and how to answer common questions too.

Internships are a great way to “test the waters” and learn by doing of a career or industry. They provide you with real-world experience that makes you ready for the job market.

AIESEC provides  youth with global career opportunities abroad on companies, startups and NGOs. Just create a profile at and start your life changing experience.

But before you consider applying to AIESEC internships, take some time to make sure you won’t make these mistakes, and put your best self forward!


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