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10 Tips for Applying for a Job or Internship

After applying to over 75 internships this year, I have finally gotten one! During a time where looking for job opportunities can seem hopeless,I thought I would share some tips when it comes to the search. Things seem to be exponentially harder now because of Coronavirus, but I hope these 10 tips will help you get the “yes” you need!

Spell Check

My first tip is to make sure you spell check everything, even your own name. Download Grammarly, it's an extremely helpful app and browser extension. Nothing is more embarrassing than sending your resume to five different companies only to realize you misspelled  “volunteer” and having to hope that they won’t notice. It is extremely important to make sure that everything is spelled properly. Your resume, cover letter, email, and any other writing that the recruiter will see is going to be your first impression on the company. This is a way to show them that you are organized, thorough, and detail-oriented.

Tailor your resume and cover letter

This is a tip that I think many people may not realize the importance of, but you need to tailor your resume to where you are applying to! Every company is different, Each having their own priorities and values. If you are able to emphasize parts of your past experience and show that they align with a company's values, you are setting yourself up for success. Being able to highlight different parts of your profile will show you are adaptable and looking to match the company culture. If you can’t personalize it every single time, have at least two or three different resumes or cover letters to pick from.

Turn on notifications

There are so many websites where jobs and internships are posted. A short list of some in the U.S. are: Linkedin, glassdoor, indeed, nuevoo just to name a few. Go to these websites, type in your search, and then set notifications to your email when jobs are posted. This can be helpful because they’ll tell you when new opportunities are posted, and you can be one of the first applicants. This shows that you are determined and eager to work with them.

Make a chart of where/ what you’ve applied for

Many jobs are crossposted, meaning they’re shared on multiple job sites. This means you could come across the same posting but on a different job posting service. You want to make sure that you don’t apply for the same job twice (or three times) accidentally. Your table could have some headings like “company name”, “job title”, “link to job posting”, “date applied”, and if you have heard back from the company- I've put a sample chart below with a general layout.

Company Name             Job Title            Link to Posting            Date Applied            Heard back

Company 1                 Marketing intern           link.com                     9/1/20                       Yes, interview next week

Company 2               Sales Assistant              link.com                     9/6/20                        Yes, awaiting response    

Company 3                 Media intern                 link.com                     9/9/20                        Not yet

Save the jobs you’ve applied for

Following the last tip, I saved the postings for previous jobs I’ve applied for by saving each posting as a PDF to my laptop. This is because many companies will take down postings once they start interviewing candidates, and it's helpful to look over before you have an interview. This will refresh your memory and remind you of what you applied for and why you want the job. This is also a great way to make sure that you hit the points that they’ve outlined in the posting.

Don't give up!

This sounds cliché, but don’t give up! The job search can be a grueling process- especially now- but many people are in the same position as you. There were many times where I wanted to give up and thought that sending one more application would be a waste of time, however, I know the one application that was successful was one of those. I thought it was too much of a long shot and that it would be a waste of time to answer the question, but it ended up being the one “yes” I received! 

Be open to the type of work you’re looking at

On many job sites, you have to put in a location, however, with COVID-19 and technology becoming more and more advanced, you can work remotely from New York for a company in Maine. By being open to working online, you are not only increasing the number of opportunities you have, but you are also learning the way of the future! Many companies aren’t planning to return to the office until 2021- and even then-things are up in the air. Moving forward many jobs are going to have more flexibility and I’m sure online meetings aren’t going anywhere. The earlier you learn to work with new tools, the more comfortable you will be. 

See what skills you have that are transferable

Many skills that you have can be applied to any job: social skills, group work, communication skills, familiarity with computer programs, etc. These are all skills that are needed regardless of what job you apply for. Being able to emphasize these skills is key if you’re looking at jobs that may not directly relate to your field of study or past experience.

Ask for help

The easiest place to start when looking for work is to look at your network around you. Do your parents, friends, siblings, or peers know anyone you can reach out to? Does your university have a job board that you can check? Are there professors that you can reach out to about reading over your resume and cover letter? Use the resources you have around you- this is a great way to gain connections and insight from people that know you well. If you feel like you don’t have anyone close to you that you can ask, reach out to your school’s career center and see if they have resources for you.

The worst they can say is no 

The best advice I ever received was someone telling me “the worst they can say is no”. There is no downside to applying for a position. Putting yourself out there can either get you the job or not. You won’t get reprimanded or penalized for sending an application- so why not send it? You only need one yes, so you might as well try to aim as high as possible.

I hope these tips can help make the job search a bit less overwhelming for you, and that they help you get the opportunity you’re looking for. It's important to not let the job search get you down, but I understand the stress that comes with trying to find opportunities and feeling like every door is closing in your face. When you finally get the yes you want, it will be so worth it!

If you want more tips or advice, don’t hesitate to reach out to me! You can reach me via email at monique.ostbye@gmail.com or send me a DM on Instagram @moniquemoh

Monique Østbye is a third-year student at Adelphi majoring in International Relations with a focus in Economics and a minor in Human Resource Management. She is passionate about various social issues. She uses travel as a way to learn about the human experience and become exposed to different ways of life. She is currently living in Oslo, Norway while school is online.
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