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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at GCU chapter.

As a senior graduating soon, my friends and I have applied to dozens of internships. What have we gained in return? Crickets. Nothing! It seems as if the job market is flooded with fierce competition from other applicants. Here are five tips on how we have attempted to land job opportunities and internships.

Apply to one job per day

Instead of spam applying to 50 jobs per day and sending in lackluster cover letters, I put a limit on how many applications I submit. That way, I can focus on creating an application I’m proud of. Even if you didn’t get the job, you tried your best and that’s what matters. I know that sounds cheesy, but it makes burnout less likely.

Create a customized cover letter

Employers love it when applicants do research. They want to know what specific initiatives you are passionate about that align with the company’s mission and job requirements. Creating a cover letter highlighting such information will increase your chances of being noticed by employers. Make sure to directly address the cover letter to each employer you are applying for. One of my friends’ prospective employers was impressed by how tailored her cover letter was toward the company’s efforts and mission.

Don’t apply to what you’re (really) not interested in

This sounds obvious, but I have applied to so many jobs when I start to feel desperate and will apply to anything. Don’t be tempted to do this. You may end up getting the job and regret not pushing forward with what you’re passionate about. Although it seems logical at the moment, if it doesn’t propel the future career you want to pursue, it may not be worth it.

Fearlessly pursue jobs you want

Women are less likely to pursue the jobs they want. According to the Harvard Business Review, “Men apply for a job when they meet only 60% of the qualifications, but women apply only if they meet 100% of them.” Even if you lack some qualifications, employers may recognize your ambition and give it a chance. Being a self-professed lifelong learner will strengthen your chances of being chosen as an employee.

Don’t Compromise Compensation

If you want to pursue an internship just for experience, that’s great. Just beware of shady practices. My friend has a horror story of applying for an internship that claimed to have a “paid position after a two-week trial run.” The employer said that after working during the trial period, my friend would get paid. If an employer says something similar and seems suspicious, RUN. There are people out there who take advantage of free labor with no regard for wage laws. I am so upset that my friend had to go through this, only to end up back where she started: looking for a job that does the bare minimum and pays their employees.

These are tips from my limited experience, so take it with a grain of salt. I truly hope everyone lands good positions with fair wages and gains valuable work experience.

Emily is a Professional Writing major at GCU. She is expected to graduate with her bachelor's degree in Spring 2024. She loves writing about the environment, history and self-care. Her interests include anything with glitter, playing video games, slamming out tunes on the piano and lying down on grass in the summer.