Internships and ultimately finding a career are a huge part of college, especially during junior and senior year. The fall is when recruitment for intern or full-time positions is in full swing. However, it is really important year round because the job search doesn’t stop at the end of November, it lasts all year, and is almost nonstop even after graduation. I have a few tips that I have learned along the way that will make the job search a little easier, but also more enjoyable.
- Write out your skills, strengths, weaknesses, etc. Note what you are good at and what you would like to work on. This will help you in building those skills you may not have yet, but also during interviews. Many times interviewers ask about specific skills or behaviors, or even your weaknesses, so knowing them in advance and working towards improvement will help you feel more comfortable during an interview, but also point you to set new goals.
- Determine companies you would be interested in working for. Look up companies in your field, or even outside of your field. You may stumble upon companies or careers you have never even thought of. Apply to all of them – any job that sparks your interest. It doesn’t matter if you don’t think you will get an interview. It is important to make sure you are making the job search about your goals and aspirations.
- Create or update your LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn is a huge resource for the job search. There are a few easy things you can do to make your profile more attractive and useful to you. First, add a professional photo and a background photo. It does a lot for the profile overall and adds a personal touch. Next, write a summary about yourself. Include what you are doing now, but also where you would like to take your career and how you are working towards that now. Also, create an engaging headline about yourself. For example, mine is “Passionate about helping others | Entrepreneur | Blogger.” These are three things that represent who I am now, and also what I am hoping to do in my career. Finally, a little trick to make sure that recruiters know you on the job search, change your privacy settings to “let recruiters know you are open to new opportunities.” This helps recruiters find you, and nothing beats a recruiter noticing you and your skills.
- Reach out to people. It can be a recruiter at a company you like. It can be someone you find on LinkedIn with your dream job and you want advice on how to get there. It can be your professor who has worked in an industry you want to ultimately be a part of. It can be an entrepreneur in Bloomington. It can be a parent, or it can be a friend who has already graduated. No matter who it is, it is a connection that can help lead you in the right direction and even open doors to new job opportunities.
- Be positive. The job search is tough and sometimes can take a toll on your confidence. Remember to be positive and keep looking for the job that fits best with you. It can be hard dealing with a rejection letter or email, but always keep your chin up, and know your job or internship is out there.