How to Get an Internship at an SME

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A 2014 LinkedIn study asked students what they value most when considering a job. The results show that students value work/life balance most, closely followed by benefits, company culture, clear career progression, and a sense of pride about where you work (as fifth out of five).


Work-hard. Play-hard.

Opportunities for the above values, as well as greater responsibility and flexibility, are available when you get graduate jobs at an SME. I can vouch for that. Having joined a start-up in 2014 who were making waves in the graduate recruitment industry, relatively little micro-management enabled me to have creative control over the content I was producing, assess the analytics of campaigns and get good work noticed.

It’s 2015 and twentysomethings are beginning to move away from the ‘big four’, discovering that a work-hard play-hard attitude can be had in the workplace. Whilst at university, it isn’t always clear why only the big names on campus have an active, physical presence – advertising budgets. So, how can you get to know the exciting London and UK based start-ups? Universities are working to bridge the gap, but in the meantime, focus on targeted online research or use a graduate recruitment agency to do the job search for you. A recruiter is a free tool that connects with great companies who are otherwise inaccessible.



When researching it is important to consider; where you want to work, which industry, individual or company inspires you, and which level (e.g. entry) your experience and skills put you at. Look beyond job listings and study success stories in your area of interest/expertise – find out how they started their career, so you can get ideas on how to start yours (LinkedIn is ideal for this). 

When you do apply, tailor your CV and cover letter to every application. Use statistics and be specific when selling your skillset and personality on paper. You won’t make it to the interview stage with a generic application. 

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