Thoughts of summer sun, sand spread between your toes, and warm weather probably seem pretty far-fetched. It is January after all, right? While 2014 may have just begun, that doesn’t mean collegiettes should be idly sitting around, twiddling their thumbs, and telling everyone that they will start the summer internship search next month. In fact, there are companies already posting summer positions on their websites, and Louis Gaglini, the associate director for employer relations at Boston College, shares that some recruiters and their organizations tend to kick-start their recruiting efforts after the New Year. Deborah Jancourtz, the Assistant Director of Counseling and Programs at Boston University’s Center for Career Development, suggests beginning an active internship search by the end of January.
So what are you waiting for? Now is the time to get the summer internship ball rolling!
1. Update that Résumé
This is the first thing that collegiettes should do before setting out to find their dream internship. According to Gaglini, “Résumés should be updated to reflect each time you make a substantive change in your professional profile.” For example, a change in GPA, a new part-time job, increased student involvement, a change in major or minor, and any notable changes in extracurricular activities warrant a quick update to the résumé. And if you have yet to create a resume, no worries! Her Campus has got you covered with articles on how to make your first resume, how to make your internship sound best on your resume, and how to make your extracurriculars sound best on your resume!
The most important thing to ask yourself is what is the reason for each change? If you find that you are making hundreds of small tweaks each week, then it might be time to step away from the resume and let it stand as is. But make sure you aren’t committing any résumé faux-pas. Employers don’t want to read everything that you have ever done since middle school. Once your resume is updated, make sure you save it as a PDF and use the final version for all of your applications and interviews.
2. Create a LinkedIn Profile
LinkedIn is like the Facebook of the career world. Collegiettes should use LinkedIn to express their professional identity while Facebook and other social media sites should be used on a more personal level. With that said, all collegiettes should have an accurately polished LinkedIn profile. Gaglini explains, “Your online presence is essentially your ‘brand’ as a student and a young professional. Recruiters and hiring managers are expecting you to be visible online in a positive way.” Not only will your LinkedIn profile help recruiters and their companies get a better sense of your accomplishments, but LinkedIn can also help students effectively network. If you are unfamiliar with LinkedIn, then check out our article on The Dos & Don’ts of LinkedIn Etiquette and you will become a pro in no time.
3. Edit Your Social Media Presence and Google Yourself
Potential employers may take a look at any and all of your social media presence. Anything from Facebook and Twitter to Tumblr and Pinterest are fair game these days. Take the time to make sure that there is nothing you are embarrassed or ashamed of on any of your social media pages. Jancourtz advises, “If you wouldn’t show a post or picture to a professor, then keep it private.”
Once you have edited your social media presence, try Google searching your name. Have some fun with this preparatory task! Set aside half an hour to scour the Internet for any trace of your name. Recruiters and potential employers will be doing the same thing once you apply, so it is important to beat them to any potentially unflattering images or embarrassing write-ups. Remember that photo from Spring Break last year? Yeah, you definitely don’t want your future boss laying his eyes on that… Cleanse your profile by un-tagging yourself, deleting any unfortunate content, and making sure you project a professional persona. And from now on, Gaglini reminds collegiettes to try and be increasingly mindful of the fact that it is much easier to put something online than it is to remove it.