Breaking Into The Industry: How To Secure An Internship With Zero Experience


A fulfilling job is indeed hard to find. The same applies when you are pursuing your first entry-level job, internship. While other friends have begun commuting to their workplace and talking about their problems as first-time workers, you—who have not yet found the opportunity—might be overwhelmed with their stories and start questioning your ability to compete with others in the professional world. 

Landing an internship during your study is indeed both important and challenging, especially when the job market is constantly becoming more competitive. Maio (2018) highlights the importance of internships: to gain experience, increase your marketability, open up networking channels, develop professional skills, build a professional resume, and many more. While internship is important to kickstart your career, it is not always easy to achieve one, especially when you have no prior experience.

If you are in your early semesters of a bachelor’s degree in Indonesia, you are lucky enough to start gaining experience that matches your dream role or career path by joining a range of student organizations or volunteers available while you are a student. However, if you are in your last year of a bachelor’s degree program or have just graduated, worry less, as you might want to consider securing an internship with zero to minimum experience. 

This article covers five logical steps that can help secure your first internship with zero to minimum experience: 

1. Research and familiarize yourself with the roles and companies

It is important to start researching the roles that you find interesting, as well as considering your educational background. You must understand what people with such roles work on a daily basis and how important their positions and works are for the company. You can simply start by typing your desired role in several job web portals or LinkedIn and learn how to fill the gaps between the job requirements and your current skill sets. Furthermore, you can also actively search for companies that can fulfil your interests and values. 

2. Discover essential keywords of skill sets needed to work on the role

Most companies have started implementing a new method of sorting potential candidates through an Applicant Tracking System (ATS). While you certainly do not want to fail at the initial stage of securing your desired position in the company, putting on essential skill keywords needed can help you pass on the initial stage of the recruitment process. Besides, creating a friendly ATS Curriculum Vitae is important for non-creative positions.

3. Apply for professional boot camps or other courses provided by the government or institutions 

Quoting one of the world’s billionaires, Charlie Munger, “Those who keep learning, will keep rising in life” You can start by applying for professional boot camps or courses available in the field. By doing so, you will be able to gain and practice any skills that might help you to achieve your goal. These days, you can easily apply for free courses or training organized by governments and institutions. Therefore, it is no longer hard to develop your knowledge and skills, as growth opportunities are available everywhere. While you are at it, you have to commit and spare your time wisely to obtain knowledge that is essential for your job-hunting journey. 

4. Build your portfolio 

Another way to showcase your skill and knowledge is by creating a portfolio, especially for those who aim to work in a creative field. Some companies nowadays even require candidates to submit their portfolios in advance to choose whether they are suitable for the roles that need to be filled. Creating personal projects or assignment projects that you had worked on during boot camps or courses can help companies to draw a line between your abilities and company needs. 

5. Be the best version of yourself during the interview 

Confidence is no less important than having the skills needed to work in the role. If you have outstanding skill sets or backgrounds that open up a way for you to the interview session, there is still a chance that you will fail at this stage. Being the best version of yourself and showing an adequate amount of confidence in your skill sets and motivations can help you pass this stage. Remember, confidence sparks a positive presence about yourself for the recruiters. 

Overall, it is worth noting that failure in landing an internship does not entirely define you as a human being or your self-worth. There can be many factors that do not bring you to your desired job. As believed by Oscar Wilde, “We’re not nouns, we’re verbs” It means that we as humans are progressive creatures that continue to grow day by day. Besides, trying is never wrong as long as you understand your potential and learn from the failures to grab other opportunities. Stay sane and stay aware of your abilities and opportunities. All roads can eventually lead you to Rome. Happy job-hunting! 


  • 10 Reasons Why An Internship is Important to All Students.” 2018. BIG IDEAS : SUNY. https://blog.suny.edu/36201/10-reasons-why-an-internship-is-important-to-all-student s/

Writer: Beauty Nathalia S. Editor: Febby Cahya D.