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5 Things to Do Before You Apply for Jobs

With summer fast approaching, the idea of having a summer job is on everyone’s mind. But, before you start applying check out these tips on what to do before you hit that submit button.

1. Perfect Your Resume

At this point, you have your resume, but before you send it out, look over it! Check for spelling, that everything is up-to-date and that it is in a clean and clear format. It can also be helpful to look over resumes online for the field you’re interested in. Resumes can look very different for different fields so it’s important that you’re catering to your audience.


2. Create a Cover Letter Template

Cover letters. They can be a pain to write and it can be tough to figure out what to include. The best method is to find a format that you like and create a sort of cover letter outline that allows you to insert the information according to the different places you’re applying to. That way you can avoid sending one general cover letter out or writing a different individualized cover letter for everywhere you apply.

3. Join Networking Sites

All of those job and networking sites can seem overwhelming, but it’s important that you join them. If you are trying to figure out which of these sites to join, you should start with LinkedIn which is sort of the Facebook of these networking sites. In addition, signing up for your university’s career site is also helpful. U of I’s website is Handshake. The site can help you see where other students at the University have gotten jobs and help you find jobs that align best with your skill set.


4. Narrow Your Search

When looking at job sites and postings, it can be tough to navigate it all. So, you need to go in with a game plan on what you are looking for. Are you looking for an internship or a full-time position? Paid or unpaid? Where do you want to work? These are all questions you need to answer before you begin your search. It’s simple. Just come up with what kind of job you’re looking for and what area (make sure it’s feasible to get into said area). This way you have an idea of what you want so your search can be more tailored and you won’t get overwhelmed by all of the different options.

5. Visit Your College’s Career Center

At any university, there is a general career center and a career center through your specific college. Both can be helpful places to visit. The general university career center is good if you want to do a mock interview or learn about general tips for making things like cover letters. Your college’s career center is best for finding those jobs that are tailored to your major and getting advice on how to present yourself when applying for jobs within that field. So, check out their websites and get your applications rolling!


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I'm a Journalism major at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. My passion is writing and I hope to do so for the rest of my life ~
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