People generally frown on the idea of working for free, which is why unpaid internships have a bad rep. Deciding whether or not to work without pay is especially difficult for recent graduates, who usually have very little money and student loans to repay. Thankfully, paid internships offer greater advantages than unpaid internships, according to the Wall Street Journal. A paid internship with a reputable company can begin your path to a truly rewarding career.
Earn More Money
Based on data provided by the Wall Street Journal, paid interns at private for-profit organizations earn a median starting salary that's approximately $19,000 per year higher than unpaid intern salaries. Paid interns who work for non-profit, local, state and government agencies also tend to receive higher salaries once they begin working full-time. This is a huge advantage for paid interns, and those who put their best foot forward stand a greater chance of earning a high starting salary within their industry.
Enhance Your Resume and Cover Letter
As a recent graduate, you probably have very little or no work experience to list on your resume. A paid internship provides a great opportunity for you to fill in those empty gaps while earning a paycheck. Internship opportunities are typically available in a variety of fields, so you can easily choose a job in a field that's closely related to your degree. Begin updating your resume as soon as you begin your internship, and continue to update your resume and cover letter as your skills and experiences expand.
Discover Networking Opportunities
Relationships matter in the work world, and paid internships give you the opportunity to build relationships with other paid employees who can help you achieve your professional goals. Something as simple as a letter of recommendation and salary history from your manager can give you a huge advantage over your competition. Interning also gives you a chance to learn more about your industry. Industry veterans and newly hired employees can give you tips to help you advance during the early stages of your career.
Lead to a Full-time Position
One of the greatest advantages of a paid internship is that it gives you a higher likelihood of landing a full-time paid position within the organization. Further data from the Wall Street Journal shows that paid interns in private organizations have a 72 percent chance of receiving a full-time job offer, compared to just 44 percent of unpaid interns. Before accepting an internship, find out if the company has a history of hiring interns. If so, accepting the paid internship is definitely a great idea, especially if it's with your dream company.
The competition for great jobs is fierce, and you must be a strong candidate if you want to compete. Paid internships give you the opportunity to make connections within your industry, which can give you a huge advantage. They also offer the opportunity to earn money while gaining hands-on work experience and increasing your chance of earning a high starting salary once you begin working full time.
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