Internships, particularly in the Human Resource field, are underrated. They can be frustrating, yet exhilerating for those coming out of college who are ready to hit the ground running in their dream job. Like school, these opportunities teach you and help you to develop into the key candidate that employers want to hire.

Fresh out of school, you are revving to go but before you do, consider the value of taking on an internship in HR. You may find that this is the ideal way to put yourself in a better position to get hired by your ideal employer.

What Is the Value of an HR Internship?

Prior to landing that full time job, consider the true value of taking on an internship in Human Resources. You may not like the fact that these often times non-paid positions are hard to get and they can be time consuming –you need a paycheck, after all. However, there are some key advantages to using these positions to launch you into future opportunities.

  • They build skills. One of the easiest reasons to see the value of Human Resource internships is simply to look at what they have to offer. They provide you with industry specific, hands on training that’s unlike what you were given in school. This skillset is going to help you to be immediately valuable to an employer who hires you down the road.
  • You’ll earn references. When it comes time to fill out applications for actual paying jobs, it will be nice to have someone’s name and handwritten reference to submit along with it. This shows your value to those who will be sorting through hundreds of applications for the position you want. It makes you more of a stand out in a pile of options.
  • You’ll build a network and you may even find your ideal employer as a part of the process. Often times, you will be in the HR industry while you are in the internship. This means you will be meeting key professionals who matter. Allow this to be a meet and greet for you. You are in the position to network with those who will give you the “in” you need.
  • Use this as an opportunity to gain the human resource knowledge and experience you want. If you want to land a job in the challenging area of HR, allow your internships to give you the experience you need. Set your own goals for what you would like to learn. It may be easy for you to develop your skill set that way. This is an opportunity to tailor your experience to better position you for the ideal job down the road.
  • Find an HR mentor and allow that person to guide you. If you are lucky enough to choose an internship among those you would like to work with, it is often best to choose someone you want to be your mentor. That way, you’ll have the guidance you need to move beyond where you are to where you want to be.

The bottom line is that Human Resource internships help open doors and put opportunities in front of you for your future. They can help you to stand out in the long list of applications that many businesses get. This can also get you past the gatekeepers in HR that often stop you from getting a job in the first place. Use your HR internship and the experience earned to create a career worth having.