10 Tips to Help You Get a Co-op

Northeastern University is best known for its co-op program and it’s a really rewarding experience! You have a chance to test out a job for six months to see if it is the right fit for you. In some circumstances, you might even score a full time offer by the end of your co-op. It’s a wonderful opportunity, but the initial process can be really stressful. Here are some tips to make your life a little easier during your co-op search:

                                                                                                    Courtesy of The College Solution

1. Having a good resume can make you stand out from your peers! As someone who has interned in HR, I’ve seen some pretty bad resumes. One of the worst was a resume that did not have a name or contact information! Limit yourself to one page with the most relevant information if you can, because you are still in college and recruiters don’t have that much time to read everything. Some places will chuck your resume if it’s more than a page. If you need help on your resume, don’t be afraid to go to your advisors for help. Double check everything before you send it in.

2. Practice behavioral based questions! Use the STAR method which includes situation, task, action, and result questions. It doesn’t matter what jobs you are applying to or what role the position is; be prepared to answer these types of questions because they are most likely to come up during interviews.

3. Do some research! This is very self explanatory. Even if you have never heard of the company before, companies feel very appreciated when you take the time to learn about them. It means you are making the extra effort to know who their CEO is, when the company started, and what the company does!

4. Always follow up and thank the interviewer for their time with a thank you note or email! Don’t be afraid to ask for their contact information if they didn’t offer you their business card. It helps to leave a good impression and you can share what you forgot to say during the interview. Keep it brief and simple: thank them for their time and summarize why you are a good fit for the company. Send it within 24 hours of the interview.

5. Go to Career Fairs! Companies brand themselves at career fairs, but they are also looking to recruit students. Talk to recruiters and leave a good impression! There are jobs with 100+ applicants; talking to a recruiter face to face can give you the chance to show them why you are the best candidate. It’s a chance for you to broadcast your talent and for them to answer your questions. Take advantage of career fairs because you can stumble into interesting new opportunities.

6. Be positive! This sounds so cliche and it can be one of the hardest things to do! The process can be a nightmare. Everyone will be getting interviews, receiving offers, but if you haven’t heard back, it doesn’t mean that you aren’t as qualified as your peers. You really just have to remain patient! You will get a co-op and sometimes if it isn’t exactly what you are looking for, you will still learn a lot from the the job. Remember it’s your journey, not someone else’s.

7. Talk to other students who have been on co-op. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your peers, or students you don’t know and get in touch with someone who has been on the co-op that you are interested in or interviewing for. Northeastern students are very willing to help answer your questions about the co-op process. It can help you determine if the job is the right fit for you!

8. Try to apply as early as possible! Some co-ops have really early deadlines and to ensure that your resume will be sent in to the company in the first batch apply as soon as you can. Some companies will stop interviewing once they hire someone they like. If you apply late, someone might have already received a job offer before your resume got sent to them. Don't miss out on these opportunities!

9. Be open to new opportunities! You are not bound to your field; you have the opportunity to apply to jobs outside of your concentration! The opportunities are endless and you never know where you might end up!

10. Check in with your advisor! They are the ones sending out your resumes. They might have additional information on the co-op timeframes for specific jobs. If you still don’t know what job you want, ask them for guidance.