Tips for finding a Job or Internship
At some point, after all the studying and test-taking, it will be time to use what you learned in school to try and forge a career path for yourself. But perhaps you’re not sure where to start looking or who you can go to for help. Check out these tips on how to look for and secure an internship or post graduation job.
Tip 1: Update LinkedIn
Update your LinkedIn profile using key words to describe your skills
Update Your Information
In addition to your online profile, you’ll also need to update your resume so that it includes the most recent and relevant information. Experience that is noteworthy but from quite a long time ago can always go on your LinkedIn page! The format of your resume is also important, when artfully put together it could stand out more easily to a Hiring Manager. Canva has many templates you can customize to fit any company style guide. Your resume should also be concise, kept to one page long, but still have a sufficient amount of detail.
Use Campus Resources
Your school may have a Career Development or Student Success Department and it’s important to take advantage of those resources so that you can be prepared for every step of the job search process. Whether you are just starting to explore opportunities or need a little guidance after months of searching, their services can be incredibly helpful. If you find yourself staring at a cover letter with only two sentences or a resume that looks a little sparse, they can help with that! Shaping your academic and work experiences into a coherent and persuasive summary is no simple task but Career Services can help you find the words! They can also provide invaluable advice about how to ace your interviews.
Practice the Interview
The interview is a critical part of the recruitment process because it’s your chance to voice why you’re the best person for the job and hopefully stand out from the other candidates (ideally, in a good way!). You get a chance to talk about any unique but relevant skills and experiences that couldn’t fit in your application. In turn, this is the interviewer’s chance to learn about your work habits, professional strengths, and weaknesses, and get a glimpse of your personality. Interviewers usually want to know if you can work well with others, how you solved a problem at work, and where you see yourself in five years. You may not know exactly what they’ll ask but there are numerous lists of common interview questions online. It’s important to review them and practice what you’d like to say so that you’re not caught off guard! And, whether it’s a one on one, group interview, or virtual interview, don’t forget about interview etiquette. Make sure you’re projecting your voice, you have a copy of your resume to look at, and there aren’t any visible piles of laundry in your virtual background! And after the interview, send a follow-up email thanking them for their time and letting them know you look forward to any updates.
Networking is essential to building long-lasting work relationships and boosting your professional visibility. Connecting with people in or adjacent to your field of study can help you build a roadmap of how to achieve your career goals. They can let you know how to get started, appraise your skill set so you know what you’re doing right and where you can improve, and suggest what steps to take next. But naturally, reaching out to people you aren’t familiar with can be a little difficult. To make it a little easier, see if your school’s event calendar includes workshops or fairs hosted by recruiters and alumni. Follow the social pages of companies you wish to work for and sign up for any informational events for job candidates.
Have Sample Work and Recommendations Ready
Depending on the job you’re interested in, you may be asked to provide supplemental material to support your application. This includes examples of your past work that best showcases your abilities or a reference from someone that can attest to your skills and character. Since you’re still a student, you may not have a full catalog of professional work or a supervisor that can act as a reference. But that’s perfectly fine and many employers hiring students expect this! In this case, it’s great to have an assignment/project from a relevant class or club that are good examples of your ability. For example, an article you wrote for the school paper, a business plan you created for your economics course, or even a blog you created just for fun. And when you need someone that can speak highly of your skills, a professor that knows you well makes for a great reference.
Search in Different Places
While LinkedIn is an important resource for any job seeker, there are many other reputable job search platforms. Try searching for opportunities on websites dedicated to posting jobs that are specific to your area of interest. For instance, if you’ve been looking for a chance to break into the tech industry or work at a startup, try looking on BuiltIn or AngelList. There are also job search platforms just for students or recent graduates that connect them to internships and entry-level opportunities, like WayUp or RippleMatch. If there is a particular company you’re interested in working for, subscribe to their “new job” alerts if that function is available on their application portal. That way you can be notified right away when a new position has opened up and be one of the first to apply! And be sure to start searching and applying early. Applications for seasonal positions open and close the semester before the position is due to start. And most importantly, apply even if you may not meet every single candidate criteria. Just be sure to emphasize your experience that does meet the requirements, your ability to learn new skills, and show that you’re still the best person for the job.