Are unpaid internships worth it?

In your search for the perfect internship, you may come across a few that seem perfect except for one thing: the pay.  It may be tempting to pass these opportunities by and keep searching for an internship that will earn you some cash.

Even though you may feel like an unpaid internship isn’t worth your time, don’t throw out the notion just yet. Unpaid internships can potentially have just as many long-term benefits as a paid opportunity, despite the obvious short-term drawbacks.  Here is some useful information to show that unpaid internships are worth the time.

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Knowledge 

You can never put a price on the gift of knowledge. Working an unpaid internship with only the prize of knowledge and experience at the end of the tunnel will keep you more focused on the work that you are doing.  Stepping outside of the classroom and into the heart of where all the action takes place is well worth the experience. Many college students have no work experience at all. The chance to gain real life work skills will be a payment in itself. In addition, the US Department of Labor helps to aid unpaid interns with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The FSLA requires that unpaid interns are going to gain knowledge during the internship. With this act in place, interns are less likely to be taken advantage of as unpaid help.

Dedication 

When a student is willing to work an unpaid internship it shows the wonderful quality of true dedication. When it’s time to land a job post graduation, employers will want to hear about your previous internships. When they learn that you worked an unpaid internship, your stock may go up in their eyes. Many people work jobs for a paycheck only. When you display a genuine love for the work that you wish to do, it sheds a bright light on your ascending career.

Favor

When you work hard at what you do for no pay, it will not go unnoticed. There is the chance that a superior will take note and keep you in mind when there are other opportunities available. These same superiors can also be used as a valuable reference for potential employment in the future. The network that can be built while on an internship assignment can be well worth the time in the end.

Motivation

When you are being paid for the work you do, you tend to have something to look forward to. Without the reward of monetary compensation, the morale on payday may be a bit low. It may be easy to spot fellow students supplementing their income with part time jobs and be a bit envious. Remember to keep your eyes on the prize and remember all of the goals that you have made for your career.

Ready to find an internship in Rhode Island?  Visit www.bridge.jobs to find local internship opportunities for free!

6 Myths about internships

When you think of the word “intern,” what comes to mind?  Is it a hopeless student pushing mind numbing paperwork all day? Or maybe a frazzled young hopeful heavy laden with errands that include coffee and donuts? There are numerous depictions of interns out there, most of which are simply not true.

Although there may be some aspects of monotony to being an intern, there may be more advantages to the trade. Keep an open mind and get in the know about internships. Here are six myths about interns that may surprise you.

1. Interns Only Do Undesirable Grunt Work

It is a popular depiction in films to show that interns only do busy work as they desperately try to break through the ranks. However, this is not always the case (and definitely should not be the case especially if the intern is unpaid).  As with any job, there will be duties that seem mundane. It is the company’s duty to teach the intern necessary tools of the trade that are needed to succeed. In some case, interns are given a mentor to ensure that they are properly taught the key points of the industry and to track progress. If you find yourself constantly doing unrelated busy work only, it may be time to speak up and ask for more.

2. Interns Are Powerless

It’s best to consider yourself a new employee rather than an intern. Respecting your fellow employees should be at the top of your list at all times, but don’t be afraid to pitch in with innovative ideas. There are cases where superiors enjoy to hear the input of a fresh young mind. Before you confine yourself to the mail room, get your tasks done with a smile and see how you can help to make things better. Observe the work culture around you and when the water looks clear, dive in. You may be relieved to find that opening up and sharing well thought out suggestions can take you very far.

3. Interns Don’t Want to Be There

All too often interns are frowned upon as young, unappreciative kids who don’t really want to be present. Some may even feel that interns are forced into the position to gain credit or just another notch on the resume belt.  Prove everyone wrong with a bright smile and a will to succeed from the very beginning. Be on time for your shift, dress accordingly and have a mind to handle anything that may come your way.

4. Internships Can’t Take You Very Far

As an aspirant in any field, the lack of tangible experience can hurt your chances of landing a job. When you throw in an internship, your chances of landing a position can greatly increase. The network opportunities that will be available during the internship are also a valuable component in your business repertoire.

Don't be fooled by these internship myths

5. Unpaid Internships Aren’t Worth The Time 

Although it may be tempting to overlook unpaid internships entirely, don’t be so quick to rule them out. Instead of viewing an internship in a financial sense, take a look at the value of the experience that you will gain. The quality of the company and potential business connections are factors that can have big returns over instant monetary gratification.

6. Interns Aren’t Competent

A recent college graduate may appear to be below the totem pole in the eyes of an experienced veteran. However, an intern brings an enthusiasm to the workplace that can shed a new light on how things are done. Show everyone in the workplace that interns do have a place in the workplace by being the best intern that you can be.

Looking for internships in Rhode Island?  Visit www.bridge.jobs to browse internships for free!

Students: What to wear to your internship interview

Are you stumped on what to wear to your internship interview?  First impressions make a huge impact on your potential employer so it’s important you choose the right ensemble. There are ways to present yourself to look dependable and reliable to your potential employer. Your goal is to go for a polished, professional look.  If you are not sure exactly where to start, here are some basic tips on what to wear to an internship interview.

Know what kind of position you are going for

If the position is professional, you will need to look the part.  Being too casual will do more harm than good when the interviewer gets a first look. For a more relaxed atmosphere, business casual will do just fine. Take a second look at the internship posting and determine what kind of atmosphere you will be working in. Then you will have a better idea of how you should look on your interview.

Check the forecast

Be in the know when it comes to the weather for the day of the interview.  You will want to be as comfortable and relaxed as possible without the worry of being too hot or too cold. Is there a chance for rain?  Bring a large umbrella to maintain your perfect interview look. Will there be a high heat index warning for the day of your big interview?  Keep things cool so that you don’t sweat profusely and ruin your look altogether.

Outfit Ideas

For gals, a light blazer paired with a plain undershirt and pencil skirt makes for a beautiful interview ensemble in warmer temperatures.  A simple white blouse can also go a long way.

A blazer provides a professional look

A white shirt and pencil skirt makes a perfect interview lookIn the cooler months, young women can opt for sweaters or full length dresses. You can even add on cute accessories to stay warm like scarves to help bring your winter look together. Looking the part is the name of the game so don’t go too crazy with patterns or colors.  Play it safe and keep it simple yet stylish.

Wear a classy sweater during cooler months

When all else fails, a little black dress (that isn’t too little) is always a go-to options for girls who just aren’t sure what to wear.   Don’t wear clothing that is revealing or that brings attention to your body inappropriately.

A little black dress can provide a refined interview look

For the guys, you can never go wrong with a pressed dress shirt and pants. If the office is more business-like, wear a tie. During cooler months, top your look with a v-neck sweater. You want to show the interviewer that you take the position seriously and aren’t afraid of the challenge.

S pressed shirt & tie makes for a professional outfit

A sweater can provide a nice compliment to your tie

Smiling student adjusting his spectacles while looking far away

If the position is business formal, guys should always opt for a suit.  Be sure that your suit fits properly and isn’t too big or too small.  You also want to make sure that you look respectable.

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Are you ready to put together your internship interview look with the help of these awesome tips?  Go to www.bridge.jobs to search for internship opportunities in Rhode Island.  You just might land an interview for the chance of a lifetime.

Students: How to make your resume stand out

An open position at any organization requires a lot of leg work to ultimately get it filled. Employers spend hours sifting through resumes, interviewing and deliberating. In order to get a call for an interview, you have to spark the interest of the employer. As a student, your resume needs to stand out above the rest. Although you may not have much tangible experience in the field, you can still present yourself well on paper. Here are a few tips on how to make your resume stand out.

Add a picture to your resume for a personal toughNo Fillers 

No one likes unhealthy additives and fillers in their foods, so why fluff up your resume with them? When it comes to resume writing, every statement needs to pack a powerful punch of useful facts. Keep it simple and relevant. When your resume gets read for the first time, the employer needs to get a good sense of who you are, what you have accomplished and what you can bring to the table. If your resume is filled with fluff, it will most likely be noted from the start. Don’t take the chance of your resume being tossed. Don’t use fillers.

Think Outside the Box 

Chances are, most applicants will use a traditional resume format to submit to the employer. Most will have an objective that will resemble the other. This is where you have to use a tactical approach and eliminate the monotony. Instead of an objective, take that space to write a brief description of your skills that are relevant to the job posting. Use keywords that are tailored to each job posting so that whoever reads your resume can picture you being the best candidate for the job. Your boldness in changing the format of the typical resume will leave the employer wanting to meet you in person for an interview.

Tell the Truth

A resume is a place to be honest and truthful with potential employers about who you are and what you have to offer. Although you may not have much work experience, you do have life experience. Traveling, volunteering and writing are all great components to discuss if they pertain to the open position in some way. You should never feel the need to lie on your resume. Be confident in who you are and what you have to offer. The confidence that you possess will draw others into your world, including a new employer.

Edit with Care

Take your time and edit your resume thoroughly. All too often spelling errors can land resumes in the garbage. Although it may seem simple enough, your resume should be treated like a window of opportunity to the job of your dreams. Take the time to proofread for spelling and grammatical errors. Be sure that the entire document uses uniform language and stays on topic. Have a fresh set of eyes, like a friend or parent,  proofread and edit as well. It is important to be critical when you edit your resume. Look through the eyes of the hiring manager and ask yourself “would I hire me”? Does the document satisfy the need of knowledge about who you are and what you are offering? Is everything worded in a clear and concise manor that is easily understood? Answer all of these questions and make changes as needed.

Looking for an internship in Rhode Island?  Visit www.bridge.jobs to browse tons of internships for free!