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EURES (EURopean Employment Services)
News article27 July 2017European Labour Authority, Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion3 min read

5 tips when looking for traineeships

Get a head start on the “competition” when on the lookout for traineeships.

5 tips when looking for traineeships

Landing the perfect traineeship is tough. It’s not only about standing out from the crowd of other interested applicants, but also knowing where to find the right possibilities in the first place. We asked Pål Kaalaas, Digital Marketing Manager for CupoNation in Norway, for his five best tips when looking for traineeships and here’s what he said…

Look abroad

A traineeship abroad gives you an instant head start, so why limit yourself to openings in your own country? There are exciting possibilities to explore all over Europe! Accepting an internship somewhere abroad gives you an opportunity to experience a different culture, both at work and in your spare time. Having moved away from the safe familiarity of your own country to work abroad is something that employers all over the world appreciate, even years after it took place.

Knock on the door

Be proactive and get out there. Years ago, “knocking on the door of a company” was meant literally, but now most initial communication is done online. If you don’t have a LinkedIn account, get one straight away and if you’re looking for a traineeship then consider paying for a Premium subscription. This gives you the chance to get directly in touch with “the right people in the right companies”, asking relevant questions and introducing yourself. The Premium subscription gives you a direct line to “the big guys” in almost any company, making it possible to drop them a line. It can be a great asset for both you and them, creating communication lines that didn’t exist a few years ago. A friendly tip:  don’t go overboard! Make sure that you only reach out when it makes sense to. LinkedIn shouldn’t be used as an “I’ll just throw my name out there, to as many people as possible, and hope for at least one positive reply”.

Afraid of being ignored? Well, that says more about the company or person than about you, which leads us to the next tip…

It goes both ways

A company considering you for an internship will surely want to find out more about you. After all, they want to be sure that the person they hire is the right one. Don’t forget to do the same! Check out the companies where you’re considering applying, making sure that they look like a good fit when you compare them to where you want to go with your career. You don’t want to end up in a traineeship that doesn’t really take you anywhere. Maybe you know someone that’s worked there before? What can you learn from news articles and the company’s website? Make sure that you have a good feeling about them before sending in the application.

Don't copy/paste

Found somewhere you want to apply? Invest time in your application! Of course, it's normal to have a template, but it’s really important that you do more than just change the company name and a couple of sentences. If you don’t spend time shaping your template into a specific application for a specific company, you’re not putting enough effort into it. Applications that haven’t been tailored are easy to spot, so don’t miss out because of laziness. You need to prove to the person on the other side of the table that you actually care enough to know a thing or two about the company and the business.

Ask questions

Most job ads mention a contact person that you can reach out to… but most people don’t. So why not send him or her an email, asking a few relevant questions about the traineeship? It shows that you’re interested, and it makes you stand out from the crowd. You’re competing with a lot of other competent people for every available job, so take every opportunity you can to make your name stand out.


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