Traineeships are very popular among well-educated starters, often possessing or finishing a University Master’s Degree. Competition for a traineeship among those people is the rule rather than the exception. Often, only a few positions are available. No wonder recruiters from large and small companies are looking for the best of the best. It is therefore important to stand out among the large quantity of potential trainees.

1. Start early

Most organisations recruit their trainees half a year in advance. In fact, some organisations recruit only once a year. Registration periods are often organised in early spring, summer or the end of autumn. Be on time, because deadlines are strict. Make sure all required forms and documents are filled in correctly. Otherwise, an application might not even be considered as valid, excluding it from participation.

2. Apply for multiple traineeships

Do not focus on one organisation only, but apply for multiple traineeships. Organisations often don’t communicate regarding traineeships and applications. Still, a thorough preparation for each application is needed!

3. Develop yourself

Don’t have a Master degree yet? Is your English a bit rusty? Still want to do an internship abroad? It might be wise to delay your application for a traineeship, allowing you to work on your competences, qualities and skills. That way, you’re fully prepared and qualified for a traineeship. However, a potential trainee is often not allowed to have more than two years of work experience. Therefore, one’s curriculum vitae might not be very extensive. To highlight your personality and competences, you might want to focus on projects, additional tasks, internships, hobbys and part time jobs. That way, you are able to show you’re active, eager to learn, entrepreneurial and flexible.

4. Sell yourself

Relevant education and work experience are extremely important during the selection process. You also has to be able to argue why you are capable for a specific position. For example, try linking your thesis topic, honours class, summer school or (voluntary) work to the position at hand. You will definitely score points during the preselection. Besides, it shows that you’ve prepared well for the selection process. Recruiters are often looking for enthusiasm, perseverance, and the willingness to give 100 percent. Make sure you show your enthusiasm for a traineeship during the entire selection process.

5. Prepare yourself

Once selected for an interview, the invitation will most likely contain a location and an interlocutor. Google the interlocutor. Find out about their specialisation and/or hobbies, but more importantly, know the organisation. Some people try to impress recruiters by using jargon during the first interview. Undoubtedly, an applicant able to properly use jargon will not easily be forgotten. However, one must be careful not to overdo it. Don’t lose yourself in vague terms that you secretly know nothing about.