Land Your Dream Singapore Internship: Student / Fresh Graduate Guide

April 15, 2024

singapore internship

Setting the Stage for Your Dream Internship

The Importance of Internships in Charting a Successful Career

Internships are more than just a temporary stint at a company; they are crucial stepping stones in your professional journey.

With industries like banking, finance, and management consulting treating internships as prerequisites for entry-level roles, the experience you gain becomes invaluable.

Employers are not just checking if you’ve done an internship – they want to know about the experiences and learnings you got from your internships, which often speaks volumes about your readiness for the workforce.

Singapore: A Hub for Aspiring Professionals: Singapore is not just a marvel of skyscrapers and lush gardens; it’s also a central nexus for aspiring professionals from around the globe. With an economy bursting with sectors such as fintech, artificial intelligence, and biomedical sciences, it’s a fertile ground for those hungry for career progression and global exposure. The mixing pot of cultures presents a unique opportunity for interns to immerse themselves in a truly international professional setting.

Preparing to Land Your Internship

Start With Your Internship Resume / Fresh Grad Resume

Creating a solid internship resume or fresh grad resume is your first and perhaps most crucial step toward landing your dream internship.

Since you may have little to no full-time work experience, it’s vital to highlight your educational background, any part-time work, volunteering, projects, or extracurricular activities in which you’ve honed pertinent skills.

Use a clear format: choose an easily readable font size (11-12pt for body text), keep margins at 1 inch, and utilise white space effectively so hiring managers can quickly absorb your qualifications.

Remember to include a header with your details and ensure the resume filename has your name for easy identification.

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Remember to include a cover letter as well. While your resume provides a concise overview of your qualifications, including a cover letter demonstrates to the employer that you’re genuinely interested in the job and that you’re willing to put in extra effort.

It also lets you go into more detail about the skills and experience most relevant to the job you’re applying for.

Tailoring Your Application to Stand Out

In a sea of applicants, standing out means tailoring your application to mirror the company’s ethos and the job’s specific requirements.

Read the internship description carefully and echo the language and critical skills mentioned therein.

Your cover letter is the place to tell your story — how your background, interests, and abilities translate to potential value for the company.

Highlight any personal projects or achievements that resonate with the company’s field, like any hobby applications you made if you’re applying for a tech-related position.

Keep in mind, while customising your application, maintain authenticity, as interviewers are adept at discerning genuine interest from mere flattery.

Additionally, remember to emphasise soft skills such as communication and teamwork, which are universally sought after, and provide concrete examples of how you’ve demonstrated these in the past.

Avoid submitting applications when you’re feeling burnt out, as this can affect the quality and tone of your application. Always bring your A-game and enthusiasm to every application — it makes a difference.

Suppose you have little job experience to include in your resume. In that case, you can incorporate a bullet-point list of specific soft skills with examples to illustrate them, improving readability and practical applicability for readers.

With all the above in mind, in today’s landscape, you might also find it helpful to use Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) to automate tasks involved in job searching, such as writing cover letters and resumes, customising job applications, and crafting responses to potential employers.

Researching Companies and Industries of Interest

Thorough research can give you an extra edge when seeking internships. Dive into the companies and industries that intrigue you to understand their challenges, culture, and vision.

This helps you tailor your application and prepare for interviews, where you can impress with your knowledge and genuine interest in their work.

You can look for internship opportunities at INTERNSG, where you can use the search or filter functions at their latest internships listing to get a list of companies and internships you are interested in.

For example, you might learn that an engineering firm is expanding into renewable energy, so emphasising your passion and relevant projects could make you stand out.

Additionally, keep abreast of industry news – who are the rising stars, what technological advancements are being made, and how is the industry responding to economic trends?

Knowing the company’s medium to long-term goals is also smart. This knowledge will help you anchor your role as not just another intern but as a potential key player in their strategy.

Strike up conversations with potential and former employees, and don’t hesitate to contact professionals on LinkedIn for possible interviews.

Understanding Singapore’s Internship Visa Requirements: Singapore is not just a marvel of skyscrapers and lush gardens; it’s also a central nexus for aspiring professionals from around the globe. With an economy bursting with sectors such as fintech, artificial intelligence, and biomedical sciences, it’s a fertile ground for those hungry for career progression and global exposure. The mixing pot of cultures presents a unique opportunity for interns to immerse themselves in a truly international professional setting.

  • Age requirement: Be at least 18 years old.
  • Offer letter: Secure an internship offer letter detailing your roles and, if paid, the compensation rate.
  • Valid passport: Ensure your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your intended stay.
  • Valid working pass: Apply for a Training Employment Pass, Training Work Permit or a Work Holiday Pass.
  • Health insurance: Given Singapore’s high-quality healthcare, preparing for unexpected emergencies is wise.
  • Begin this process early to avoid any last-minute hiccups that could derail your plans. Reach out to the company offering the internship for assistance – they may provide guidance or even handle part of the application process.

    Remember, regulations can change, so always check the latest from Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower website to ensure you meet all current requirements.

    Strategies for Applying to Multiple Opportunities – Cast a Wide Net When Applying

    Adopting a strategic approach can set you up for success when exploring the internship landscape. First, don’t put all your eggs in one basket – apply widely but thoughtfully.

    Second, prioritise the quality of your applications over quantity. Sending personalised cover letters and well-tailored resumes is critical. Also, keep a log of all submitted applications, complete with follow-up dates.

    A helpful strategy is categorising opportunities into tiers based on your interest level and their relevance to your career goals. This can help you manage your time and efforts more efficiently.

    While persistence is a virtue, remember to respect boundaries; a follow-up should be a gentle reminder of your keen interest, not a daily barrage of emails or calls to the recruiter.

    internship in singapore

    Also, apply to a mix of big-name and smaller firms to increase your chances. Sometimes, smaller companies offer more hands-on experience, though they might have different prestige than larger ones.

    Lastly, keep an open mind to opportunities that deviate from your primary interest; they could be pleasantly educating and rewarding.

    Preparing for Interviews with Confidence

    Interviews can be nerve-wracking, but preparation is your best ally. Brush up on common interview questions relevant to your field, and practice articulating your thoughts clearly and confidently.

    Mock interviews with friends, family, or career counsellors can be incredibly beneficial.

    Before the interview, research the company extensively and develop insightful questions demonstrating your interest in the organisation and the role.

    Remember, they’re not just interviewing you; you’re also interviewing them to see if it’s the right fit.

    For a virtual interview, ensure your IT equipment is correctly set up: check your webcam and microphone, find a quiet space with good lighting, and have a stable internet connection.

    Dress professionally, regardless of whether the interview is in-person or virtual. First impressions count!

    During the interview, be honest about your skills and experiences, and don’t be afraid to talk about your achievements and how they’ve prepared you for the internship role.

    Also, try to build rapport with your interviewers; they’re potential future colleagues, and showing them you’re a team player is invaluable.

    Most importantly, believe in yourself. You’ve earned this chance, so give it your all. Remember, every interview is a learning experience, regardless of the outcome.

    Maximising Your Internship Experience

    Gaining Relevant Skills Beyond Your Academic Field

    Expanding your skill set beyond the confines of your academic field can enhance your value to potential employers. In today’s dynamic job market, versatility is vital.

    Engage in co-curricular activities or join student societies that offer leadership roles, pushing you to develop skills in communication, event management, or public speaking.

    internship singapore

    Volunteering is another avenue to consider. It allows you to develop empathy, time management, and teamwork skills.

    Moreover, it serves as a platform for networking and can be beneficial if your target company values corporate social responsibility (CSR).

    Though seemingly unrelated, travelling can instill adaptability, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills. It demonstrates a willingness to step out of one’s comfort zone and embrace new experiences.

    Employers often value these transferable skills as much as your technical expertise because they indicate your potential to adapt and contribute to different aspects of the business.

    This gives you a competitive edge that showcases your all-rounded character and proactive approach to personal development. 

    Networking and Making Lasting Professional Connections

    Networking is vital to thriving in any career, and internships often provide a unique platform for building your professional network.

    Your co-workers, supervisors, and other interns could become valuable connections, offering guidance, mentorship, or opportunities.

    To forge these lasting professional connections:

    • Be proactive in seeking advice and feedback from colleagues.
    • Participate in company events or industry meet-ups, and follow online webinars to grow your network.
    • Stay in touch post-internship; a simple thank-you note can leave a good impression.
    • Connect with your colleagues on LinkedIn and engage with their content to maintain the relationship.

    Networking is a two-way street; be ready to lend a hand when others reach out for help, just as they did during your internship. These relationships often open doors to future opportunities in your career.

    Moreover, the Chinese saying “Guanxi,” which means relationships, emphasises this idea starkly. In many industries, who you know can be as important as what you know.

    Your internship colleagues can become the first in your professional network, offering recommendations and advice throughout your career.

    By showing gratitude for their mentorship and maintaining regular contact, even with updates about your career progress, you keep the connection alive, ready to be called upon when needed. 

    Overcoming Potential Setbacks

    Dealing with Unsuccessful Applications: Seeking Feedback

    Coping with rejection can be disheartening, but it’s crucial to personal growth. When faced with an unsuccessful application, take the initiative to ask recruiters for feedback.

    This may seem daunting, but the insights can be invaluable for improving your interview skills and understanding where your application may have fallen short.

    When asking for feedback, be gracious and professional. Remember, recruiters are often busy, so they’ll appreciate a concise and polite approach.

    You might prefer calling over email for a more personal touch, which can sometimes lead to a more immediate and detailed response.

    Acknowledge that while they are not obligated to provide feedback, any insights they can offer would benefit your professional development.

    Use this feedback constructively to refine your resume, cover letter, and interview technique for future applications.

    It’s essential not to take rejection personally. Instead, look at it as a stepping stone towards your ultimate goal. Every ‘no’ is one step closer to a ‘yes’, and the feedback process is an integral part of that journey. 

    Exploring Alternative Paths When Traditional Avenues Are Closed

    Sometimes, the path to your dream role isn’t available in a career journey. When traditional avenues are closed, it’s time to consider alternative paths that could lead to the same destination.

    For instance, if direct internships are scarce, look into trainee programs, part-time jobs, or assistant roles closely aligned with your field.

    Consider freelance projects that allow you to build your portfolio or volunteering opportunities to develop industry-relevant skills.

    These non-traditional experiences can be just as enriching for your resume as formal internships.

    Additionally, continuous learning through online courses or certifications can provide the skill boost you need to make a stronger case for your candidacy.

    Sometimes, a sideways or even a backward step can propel you forward in unexpected and beneficial ways.

    Such flexibility demonstrates to future employers your resilience and commitment to your career goals, even when facing obstacles.

    Keep an open mind and be prepared to explore various sectors or disciplines. You may discover a niche that you are passionate about, which could redefine your career trajectory.

    There’s no one-size-fits-all approach, so embrace the journey, stay persistent, and adapt where necessary.

    This article is from INTERNSG in a collaboration with ResumeWriter.SG. INTERNSG pioneered online internship opportunities in Singapore and has offered internship online listing services completely free of charge since 2004. Visit INTERNSG’s latest internships listing and apply for your internship choice now!

    Diane Wong