Landing a full-time job after graduation has gotten a whole lot tougher these days due to the present state of the economy. Jobs are few and far between and the competition for them has grown especially fierce, which is why obtaining an internship has become an important priority for most students these days. However, the competition for intern positions is just as ferocious. So how can you maximize your chances of surviving in such a cut-throat environment? Here are some things that I learned to do when searching for an internship:
1. Start your search early! For example, if you’re looking for a summer internship position, start looking for open positions in late January/early February and continue until late April/early May. You will be surprised how many positions are available when your search spans a couple of months.
2. Submit your application ASAP! Some students are under the impression that if they are one of the last applications that employers see that they will have a better chance of being remembered. This, however, is not the case. Applying hours before the midnight deadline can make you look like a procrastinator. In the work place, deadlines are extremely important, and most employers want someone who is timely with their work. So once the application period begins, submit your resume and cover letter as soon as possible to avoid being a part of the last minute rush.
3. Apply to as many positions as you can! I know this can be a long, tedious process, but believe me it is absolutely necessary. This spring, I applied to over thirty companies, and only received about five calls/e-mails for an interview. So put yourself out there to as many people as possible. It will make your chances of actually landing a position more probable.
4. Make use of your resources on campus! Most colleges and universities have a career services department, which provides students with resources, such as resume critiques, mock interviews, company tours, and weekly e-mails with new internship/job opportunities, to aid students in their searches. These people are trained professionals who have helped many students go from the classroom to the office and can help you become a better candidate for employment or put you in contact with the right people.
5. Utilize internet search engines! In addition to MonsterTrak and Craigslist, there are many sites available that are devoted to finding internships in a particular field. Just Google it and see what comes up. For example, after doing a Google search, I found a website called BookJobs.com, which was wholly devoted to internship/job opportunities in the book publishing industry and which is where I found the most openings.
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