How to Secure that Dream Job Or Internship

It's always intimidating to apply to a job and/or internship, especially as a college student. It always seems like there's a sea of endless work awaiting you. You have to have a resume tailored to the job or internship you want, make contact with someone at your desired place of work, and fill out what feels like a billion applications before finally receiving one “yes.”

On top of that, as a college student, you still want to maintain your social life, keep up with your schoolwork, and actually enjoy yourself at college.

It also feels like a catch 22: no one wants to hire someone with no experience, but the only way to get experience is to work somewhere!

But never fear, the following tips will get you in tip-top job application and internship shape, so you have decreased levels of stress and high levels of opportunity waiting around the corner.

  1. 1. Build a professional, refined, yet personable resume & cover letter

    Your resume is your professional representation of yourself. It is so important to refine it, change it with any work/experience/education you gain, and to constantly be trying to make it reflect your changing professional persona.

    What's on your resume should be useful to the specific job you're applying to. Don't overload! I totally understand the feeling of wanting to pile on all your great accomplishments on your resume, and choosing can be so hard, but remember that sometimes less is more—as long as that “less” is relevant and powerful. Being a part of ten clubs is great, but if the clubs you're in have no relation to the job/internship you want then don't include them. Besides, just being in a club doesn't make it worthy of adding to your resume. Think about what the club means to you and the position you hold—if it checks all the boxes, add it! But always remember that white space is not a bad thing. Having less clutter and more organization, clean-cut, relevant experience is always preferred by hiring managers.

  2. 2. Don't be afraid to reach out

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    If possible, make contact with someone at your desired place of work. Check on Linkedin and other job sites to see if you can get a hiring manager’s email or contact information. Reach out! Tell them about yourself and ask questions. If you are genuinely interested in an internship or job, it will shine through. Plus, you never know where one email can get you—contacting the right person might just land you a job at your dream company or organization!

  3. 3. Make connections whenever possible

    Women mentoring another women

    Reach out to classmates, use your resources, be in touch with your professors and those around you. Being a good communicator, team player, and all around kind person in an educational environment will be sure to help you establish professional connections as you flourish and grow in life. This is a lesson that we all should follow despite job searching, however, it also happens to come greatly in handy when you're looking for a job. Try to work with others and help them out! You never know when you will establish a mutually beneficial relationship or great connection with a peer.

  4. 4. Remember the power in numbers

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    Applying to jobs or internships is no easy feat, especially in this current COVID-19 climate where everything seems to be radically changing every second. Remember that applying to one job or internship is great, but applying to one is not enough. When looking for a job or internship, especially in a competitive market or for a seasonal job (i.e. summer) you should apply to 30 minimum. I’m no mathematician, but the idea is simple… the more opportunities you apply too, the greater your chances are of opening doors and actually scoring a job or internship. Even if it's not your first pick, you also never know where one opportunity can lead, or also maybe you'll end up being so happy you ended up getting it!

  5. 5. Never give up

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    It is so easy to get discouraged when applying to jobs and/or internships. You seem to get a million rejections before you finally get a yes. Just remember, the fact that you are getting out there, putting yourself out there, and working for your future is enough. You will get your opportunity, and you will get your chance. The more effort you put in, the more you'll get out. Plus, so much of applying is timing and luck! Never give up, be resilient, and you will reap the benefits. Mark my words.

Applying to jobs and internships can be incredibly intimidating and challenging, but if you never try, you'll never know. So take that chance, put yourself out there, and never give up—because you never know when opportunity will come knocking at your door!

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