If you’re studying HR or a related field, you’ve probably thought about applying for a placement before you graduate. If you haven’t, it’s definitely worth considering, as a placement can do wonders for improving your employability.
This guide answers the most common questions related to human resources internships and ensures that you have all the information you need to acquire one and make the best of it.
Let’s get started!
What are human resources internships?
HR is the field that deals with the management of people in an organisation. Employees are businesses top priority and most valuable asset. HR aims to maintain and improve employee’s experience in the workplace; this means they look after things such as health and safety, recruitment, employee engagement, employee relations and administration.
Demand for HR professionals in Australia is currently high, with moderate expected future growth. The average annual salary of a HR manager is over $88,000.
Human resources internships give students the opportunity to gain work experience in the field. Placements usually last for 1-3 months and may or may not end with a job offer. Typically, interns will work under the supervision of an experienced staff member. The intern’s tasks may include reviewing resumes, posting job advertisements, administration duties and assisting with interviews.
Are they worth it?
Absolutely – while you might not always get paid, placements are an excellent way to gain the practical qualifications necessary for future paid work. Getting a job with a degree alone may be difficult; having a placement on your resume looks great and boosts your chances of getting hired. Placements are also excellent at helping you develop networking skills which can further help you in your career.
How do you find the right one?
Don’t just go for the first one you see (unless it happens to be perfect!); there are a myriad of different human resources internships on the market, so do your research and make sure you have an understanding of what you are looking for in a business first. Establishing your career interests and values can help make the process easier by filtering out organisations who you don’t align with.
When it comes to actually finding out what’s available, there are many things you can do, including:
Attending career fairs
Career fairs are a great way to be exposed to a range of businesses and organisations that are offering human resources internships. They also provide you with the ability to meet and bond with some of their staff. You can prepare for fairs in advance with a short, 60 second description about yourself, your career aspirations and skills.
Contact your university or education provider for information on career fair dates. Generally they will run multiple times throughout the year, but it’s important to be aware that they’re happening so that you don’t miss out.
Contact employers directly
Phoning or visiting potential employers in person to inquire about placements can be a great way to show your interest and dedication to working with them. Prepare in advance with a short summary of yourself. Ensure you follow up with them later on.
Websites such as Seek can be an effective and convenient way to find human resources internships. By reading placement advertisements online you can get detailed information on what the placement entails and what the employer is looking for in candidates.
How do you get an offer for human resources internships?
Essentially, impress them! Start with your resume – ensure that you’re proofread it multiple times, that it’s clear, concise, free of spelling errors and is visually appealing. Include a photo of yourself and make sure you include all experience that is relevant to the placement you’re applying for.
Once you’ve made it to the next stage, ensure that you ace the interview by being prepared. This means being familiar with your resume, being able to concisely talk about your career motivations and skills, and doing a bit of research into the company you’re interviewing for. You also want to make sure you’re presentable during the interview; dress neatly and professionally, display good social skills and be on time!
How do you do well during the placement?
Through flexibility, commitment, networking and hard-work! While you won’t be expected to know as much as more experienced staff, your employers will want you to be a fast-learner. Treat your human resources internships like a real job, because the work you put in will have consequences. Put in 110% effort and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Finally, showing up on time and staying back late can be a great way to impress your employers and increase your chances of getting hired later down the track.
Human resources internships are valuable learning experiences which can improve your employability and help you develop networking skills.