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ATTENTION SENIORS: how to land the career opportunity

Courtesy of Meme Generation

It’s no secret that we are secretly freaking out about spring and summer applications for jobs and internships. As a senior, I know how stressful it is that companies are reaching out to us for job opportunities before we have even graduated. Many of us aren’t ready to let go of our four fabulous years at SMU and start “adulting.” Ugh. But, the reality of starting a career is coming. We might as well be ready for it when it does and land the career of our dreams, whether it be through an internship or a job opportunity. Here are some tips I have generated about getting ready for the internship and job application process, what you can do to prepare and ace the interview and finally land the job:

PRE-APPLICATION

1.     Know yourself: identify your interests, skills, values and strengths.

  • Research companies that interest you to work at and align with your values.
  • Research different job titles and descriptions that showcase your strengths and help build your skill set.
  • Decide whether you are looking for an internship opportunity for experience without pay, a paid internship or an entry level job position.

2.     Meet with your school advisor or career counselor.

  • Discuss your strengths and how that can be coupled with your interest in various companies to be successful.
  • Gain advice, insight and connections through your advisor as well as career centers on campus.
  • Keep your advisor in the loop; Make sure they help you get into the classes you need to be able to graduate and pursue your internship and job opportunities.

3.     Dust off your résumé and make cover letters for positions you want to apply to.

  • Update your résumé with the latest and greatest work you have done in school, organizations and even in your community and the experience you have had in previous job positions.
  • Type up a cover letter for each company you want to apply to showcasing your strengths and how those strengths would be an asset to each company.
  • Make sure to have both résumé and cover letters proofread and edited.
  • You may even want to create an e-portfolio to showcase your previous work, as well as your experience, skills and talents.

4.     Identify those who would serve as references for you

  • In some job applications and internship opportunities, you will be asked for reference. Make sure someone has your back! (This can be a teacher, previous employer, etc.)

5.     Clean up your social media.

  • No one wants to hire you if your profile picture is you slapping the bag on Facebook.
  • Would your grandma be proud of your Facebook? Instagram? Twitter?

WHEN YOU GET THE INTERVIEW

After submitting your résumé, cover letter and references, you may be called on for an in-person or phone interview, you best be ready!

1.     Make sure you have clothes to dress the part.

  • Employers want to see clean cut clothing: no back showing, no cleavage, no short skirts...you get the picture. (Make sure your shoes match your socks type deal.)

2.     Create a mock interview situation.

  • 30 second elevator speech: getting to know you in 30 seconds.
  • Have friends, family, advisors, and teachers interview you with questions about the company and how your strengths would be an asset to their company.
  • Decide how you want to stand out in the interview; Make them remember you.

3.     ACE the interview, you can do it!

  • Be confident, be yourself and show ‘em what you got!
  • Make sure to thank employers for their time.

AFTER INTERVIEW

1.     Follow up with company, remind them of who you are and thank them for their time. (Hand-written thank you notes really help you stand out!)

2.     Be sure to stay in touch with the company and develop contacts whom you can reach out to during the selection process.

  • Even if you don’t get the interview or the job, keep these contacts! They can help you get connected somewhere else or even file you away for the next application period.

3.     Keep your head up if you don’t land the job! Just like men, there are plenty of fish in the sea when it comes to finding the right job for you! Continue to put yourself out there and be the best you can be.

Feature Image: Courtesy of Meme Generation

Hello everyone!I am a senior at Southern Methodist Univeristy, studying for majors Marketing and Fashion Media. I have written for Her Campus SMU since 2013. I really enjoy the people it has brought me to meet as well as the fun articles I get to write!! My main interests include travel, fly fishing, tennis, writing, reading, styling, shopping and hanging out with my family, friends and boyfriend. I'm looking forward to graduation and a career in the real world! :) 
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