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5 Important Things To Do Before Applying To Your First Job Or Internship

Applying for an internship or a job can certainly be stressful and overwhelming, especially since there seem to be so many requirements and preparations to be aware of prior to doing so. 

While I have not had much experience personally thus far, I have compiled various lists for myself of what to ensure that I have completed prior to applying to my first official job or internship, which seems to be right around the corner.

So, if you’re like me and need a refresher on what tasks are appropriate to complete before submitting an application, here is a short list just for you!

Make a LinkedIn

This was the most prominent thing I learned in my first year of college regarding internship and job applications. LinkedIn is a fantastic platform for professional networking–something that is extremely essential to applying to and obtaining jobs. This service allows you to get your name and intentions out into the workspace and enables you to connect with other business professionals who can help propel you in the right direction.

Be active on social media 

With digital media consistently progressing, you simply cannot be absent from social media when applying to job or internship positions. Nowadays, companies seek individuals who not only use social media, but who know a lot about it, and who can utilize it to influence their business. It is important that you have active accounts across several social media platforms, but especially Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Alongside this, it is extremely important that your social media presence is clean and professional, as any inappropriate or questionable content could certainly deter a company from hiring you.

Compile your portfolio

No matter what field of work you are going into, it is always a good idea to have a polished portfolio set aside of some of your best work. Depending on the job itself and the needs of the company, you can alter your portfolio slightly for each application. But, it is important to have this work ready to go so you are not scrambling to find old files on your desktop when the time comes.

Update resume and cover letter 

Much like your portfolio, you should always have a standard resume and cover letter for yourself on file, but you should also make consistent updates and alterations to them for each company at which you are applying. Your resume and cover letter should include the most relevant information to the company and be as personalized as possible, to help you stand out among the competition.

Research company background

Lastly, during your job and/or internship search, it is important to thoroughly research the companies that interest you. This goes beyond location or a general job title and instead comes down to the company’s values and policies so that you can ensure that you could see yourself fit into the culture of the company and would feel supported in that atmosphere.

 I hope that these few general tips were helpful for you in your application journey!

Lauren Serge

Ohio U '23

Lauren Serge is currently a junior at Ohio University, majoring in Journalism: Strategic Communication and specializing in Marketing and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. She is the current President and Co-Campus Correspondent for the Her Campus OU chapter. She enjoys writing, biking, spending time with her family, friends, and her dog, as well as catching up on her many favorite tv shows.
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