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Five Soft Skills to Work on During Your Internship

By Lizzie Exton on 24-03-2018

Gaining valuable work experience to put on your CV is one of the major advantages of taking on an internship, but this is also the perfect time to work on some of the so-called ‘soft skills’ employers are on the lookout for.  While putting the name of a big company on your resume will undoubtedly give it a little of the sparkle recruiters are after, too few interns like to boast about the soft skills they’ve developed.

Recruiters will have a growing pile of CVs from people who like to brag about their qualifications and the technical knowledge they’ve acquired – there’s room for that, of course, but various studies have gone to show it’s the soft skills which employers are more inclined to value these days.

If you’ve landed yourself a fantastic internship then use the time wisely and work on these top five soft skills to really make your CV stand out.


Time Management

Some are better than others at managing their time and juggling deadlines, but we all have time management skills we can work on.  Whether they make it onto your CV is another matter. Try to keep a note of instances of when you’ve successfully prioritised and managed your time well during your internship, as being able to give examples further down the line will help you prove your worth to an employer.

Communication Skills

You don’t have to be the most confident and chatty person in the office, but developing your communication skills will work wonders for your future job prospects.  You could, perhaps, volunteer to contribute to the weekly team meeting or ask if you can have a hand in penning social media posts. Employers really value communication skills, and proving you’ve got them means you’re more likely be hired.

Research Skills

Misinformation can be disastrous to a company, and poor background research can have all sorts of terrible knock-on effects.  That’s why many recruiters will be drawn to those who can show they have strong research skills and are willing to go the extra mile to ensure they have all the information they need to make informed decisions.  Keep a record of instances when you’ve needed to do some digging for additional information and how it had a positive impact on your work.

Forward Planning

A little like time management, forward planning means getting yourself organised and making the best use of your time.  If you know there are deadlines to meet or projects to submit, don’t leave everything until the last minute. Plan your time in advance and set aside periods of the working day where you can work on those things you might otherwise be putting off.  Try to think weeks rather than days or hours ahead to maximise the time you have in the office.

Teamwork

It’s one of those buzzwords which has garnered a bit of a bad reputation, and everyone says they are a ‘team player’ on their CV.  Prove to employers that you really are. Try and offer to help other people whenever you can, and if you see something which needs doing then try to be the first to step in to do it.  Having a few examples of times when you’ve been a real asset to your team will help your CV stand out, and it might win you some useful contacts you can call on later down the line.

A brilliant CV isn’t always about showing off how much work experience and industry know-how you have.  These days employers want a fully rounded candidate and not just someone whose qualifications just look good on paper.  Use your internship wisely and work on these soft skills, because they might just be the ticket to landing your dream job in the future.

Lizzie Exton writes for Inspiring Interns, which specialises in finding candidates their perfect internship. To browse our graduate jobs, visit our website.

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