How to Get the Job

As college students, we may feel the pressure of getting a part-time job to help with loan payments, or an internship to get experience in your field of study. All of this seems easy-- just apply for a job and wait for results. However, while this two-step process may be easy to do, it isn’t a great way to actually get hired. Luckily, there some simple changes you can make to this routine. Read on to find out how to get the job!

1. Adjust Your Resume and Cover Letter

Every position is different, and employers like to see you treat them as such. This doesn’t mean you have to scrap your regular resume or cover letter completely; rather, you can use it as a template that you adjust for each job application. While this may seem tedious, it will definitely pay off, as your employer will notice you took the time.

2. Provide Additional Documents When Necessary

Let’s say you are applying for an internship at a local newspaper. Odds are, the employer will want an idea of how you write before they hire you. And even if this isn’t a job where you need to exemplify your work, it never hurts to provide a list of references, an academic transcript, or any certifications you may have.

3. Apply Early

Though application deadlines may be weeks or even months away, it’s super important to apply early. Not only will applying early show your interest, but too many times employers will interview other candidates for the position before the application deadline. While you may think you are getting things done on time, the employers may already have other early-application candidates in mind for the position.

4. Establish Rapport

Okay, now it’s time to submit your application. But if this employer is receiving dozens of applications in a given day, how do you make yours stand out? Well, you have to put a person behind that application, meaning you should personally reach out to the employer-- which can either be done by email or in person, depending on the position. For instance, if you are applying to a job at Starbucks, you could swing by to introduce yourself and even treat yourself to a latte. However, if you’re applying for a job in an office setting, an email may be more appropriate.

5. Ask Questions

Let’s fast-forward to your interview, because you are definitely getting that interview! You want to show your interest by having multiple questions ready before you even walk into the room. (Hint: Some go-to questions may be 1) What’s the work environment like? or 2) What are the daily responsibilities of this position?) Be sure to do your research on the company, though, because you don’t want to ask questions that your interviewer already expects you to know.

6. Follow up

Before anything else, relax. The hardest part is over. But your work isn’t done just yet; now you need to make sure your interviewer remembers you, as they may have interviewed multiple other candidates just that week. Write a quick email saying how it was nice to meet them in person, and thanking them for their time and consideration. While this may seem like an arbitrary step, it makes for a lasting impression.

7. Network!

As a college student, you’re probably familiar with the phrase “building your network.” This is much easier said than done; luckily, after completing these steps, you are well on your way to building your network. Now, to maintain these connections, you must keep good relationships with those in your network. If, by chance, you didn’t get this job, that means staying in touch with this employer to find out about other opportunities down the line that they can point you to. And, of course, if you do get the job, this means having a good relationship with your boss, that way they can become a professional reference for other job opportunities, or help you excel in your current position.

Applying for a new job or internship may be a struggle, but following these tips will make the process painless. Now go out there and get hired!