The snow has barely melted, but judging by the attendance at last week’s career fair, Bryant students already know that spring is just around the corner. To the college student, spring means only one thing: job searching. We all know that employers are on the hunt for summer interns and recent grads and the competition is stronger than ever. But before you dry clean your suit, dust off that pad folio and print your resume, consider these helpful tips for finding the internship or job of your dreams.
Build your brand. I know what you’re thinking – branding is just another buzzword you had to memorize for your marketing class. Wrong! The rise of social media has created a host of new platforms for us to communicate who we are to potential employers. Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are all great ways to create your own personal brand.
- Twitter: Consider diversifying your Twitter to go beyond following Kim Kardashian and Justin Beiber. Identify the key influencers in the industry you hope to be a part of and start engaging! Do more than just follow – tweet, retweet and hashtag away!
- Facebook: Go through the privacy settings and make sure that those crazy party pictures from last weekend are hidden or completely deleted from your profile. Employers are spending more time combing through our social media profiles during the hiring process. Do you really want your future boss do know that you have perfect keg-stand form?
- LinkedIn: If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile, stop by LinkedIn Day at Bryant on March 28th to meet experts from LinkedIn Corporate. The Amica Center for Career Education has invited the pros to come and share the latest tips and tricks for using LinkedIn to network and find jobs. Amy Weinstein, Assistant Director/Technology Manager at the Amica Center, believes that LinkedIn is a “hugely powerful tool that will play a major role in career development in the immediate future.”
- Re-think your resume. A strong resume can help you stand out among other applicants during the hiring process. But employers are looking for more than just a list of part-time jobs. Weinstein suggests listing class projects as well. “Your resume is your first opportunity to position and brand yourself. In many cases class projects and group activities are a better way to showcase your skills and experience, and are more related to the position you are applying for, than the part-time jobs you’ve held during summers or in high school.”
- Build a portfolio. Whether you are planning to pursue a career in financial services or journalism, a portfolio is a valuable asset during the career search. Weinstein’s advice is to “think outside the box. Use technology creatively to showcase your work.” She suggests compiling your best written work, whether it is a paper for class or an article in the student newspaper and show it to your interviewer on a tablet or laptop. Show, don’t just tell.
- Know how to use the career services department. The biggest misconception about the Amica Center for Career Education is that its primary function is to find jobs for students. Instead, accept that the Amica Center is a tool, a vehicle to help you find a job or internship. “The Bryant Career Connection (BCC) is a value. The jobs or internships listed on the BCC are based on relationships built between the Amica Center and these corporations. The companies post openings because they are looking for Bryant students specifically to fill them.” It is the job of the student to take advantage of the resources offered by the Amica Center in order to find and successfully obtain a desired position.
- Don’t just “network” – create meaningful connections. The term “networking” is hot right now. I bet many of you attend networking events in the hopes of making a connection and landing a job offer. But these events are about more than adding new business cards to your collection. Networking events are great opportunities to meet alums and get advice. Take an interest; ask them about their career paths. You might benefit more from their guidance than you think.
- Accept that you might not land your “dream” internship or job right away. Weinstein says that the biggest obstacle in this process is “going online and not finding the job of your dreams.” Your career path will not be linear and you may need to gain some experience before you land that corner office with the view of Central Park. Keep in mind that each opportunity is a learning experience and will eventually lead you to the job or internship of your dreams!
For a list of workshops and events sponsored by the Amica Center for Career Education this spring: http://www.bryant.edu/wps/wcm/connect/Bryant/Divisions/Student%20Affairs/Career%20Services/Events%20&%20Workshops