Tis’ the season for job applications.
- Make sure your resume is up to date.
Your resume is the first thing a potential employer is going to look at. Make sure it’s updated with your latest school and work experience. Be sure it’s easy to read and looks organized: an employer shuffling through hundreds of applications won’t spend more than a few seconds on yours if it’s cluttered and hard to read.
- Create a LinkedIn if you don’t have one already.
I love LinkedIn. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s basically a Facebook for your professional life. If an employer is considering you for an internship, they might look at your profile, so it helps to have an active page with a nice headshot. LinkedIn offers job postings and you might even get messages from recruiters!
- Download Indeed from the app store and start applying.
Indeed is a job site. It shows job openings nearby: both part-time gigs and internships. If you apply for an internship on Indeed and don’t hear back within a few weeks, it wouldn’t hurt to give the company a call and make sure your application made it to them. It shows you care.
- If your school offers a portal to connect with employers, use it.
My school, James Madison University, offers a portal called Handshake to connect with employers. This can be useful for finding an internship because many students don’t know about it and wouldn’t think to use it. I found my first internship through Handshake, don’t underestimate it!
- Look around your network.
People you already know and have built relationships with can be a resource for connecting with companies you want to work for. Start with your parents: who do they know who may be able to help you? What can you offer them? Look to your professors: what kinds of positions do they think you would be good at? Do they know if any companies you are interested in may be hiring?
- Go to job events.
The purpose of job fairs is to connect students with companies looking for interns and full-time positions. Go to these! You never know who you might connect with.