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The 8 Most In-Demand Skills for Interns

Written by Angela Finding

If you want to get hired as an intern, you need to prove you have what it takes to succeed in the position. Unfortunately, since internships are all about learning and developing skills, you won’t have many skills to start with—instead, you’ll have to focus on “soft skills” that are most appealing to your potential employers.

Most In-Demand Skills

So what are these skills that employers want to see?

  1. Communication. You’ll need strong communication skills no matter who you’re working with or what you’re working on. Prove these by writing a strong cover letter and speaking slowly and deliberately in your interview.
  2. Discipline. Employers need their interns to meet expectations and complete tasks reliably. You can demonstrate your discipline by paying attention to the details of your resume and citing examples of your previous successes.
  3. Focus. Interns need to focus on the work in front of them without getting distracted. The interview is your best chance to prove this, by attentively listening to everything your interviewer says.
  4. Quick learning. Internships are all about learning new skills and information, so the faster you can learn, the better. It’s hard to demonstrate this one actively, but you can describe your learning capabilities through past experiences.
  5. Research and analysis. Research is a general skill that’s useful in practically any position. Talk about research you’ve done for past school projects to demonstrate this ability.
  6. Adaptability. Your responsibilities will likely shift from day to day, and your internship may evolve over time. You need to express your flexibility in this regard.
  7. Collaboration. Few interns ever work alone. Your ability to collaborate with others on a mutual project is a must if you want to get hired.
  8. Creative problem solving. Creative problem solving can help you out of almost any bind, making you more capable of handling yourself and making you a more active contributor to the team. Again, you can call upon past examples of your achievements here.

The Problem With Intern Skills

There’s one more thing to keep in mind with attractive internship skills: every business is different. Different companies and team leaders will look for different things in their intern applicants. For example, some may require you to have some understanding of computer programming, and others may require you to have strong customer service skills. In any case, the eight skills above are general and valuable enough to be beneficial for almost any application.

1 Comment

  • Kristy February 7, 2017 Reply

    #1 is so vitally important. Strong communication skills are key. We look for this quality when hiring interns at Quez Media.

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