Expert Tips for Internship and Post College Graduation Employment
Apr 05, 2021
College seniors have their hands full before graduation, and they may miss some important career-prep activities. Here is a last-minute checklist of things to do before graduation and begin their job search. All of these are also for college summer internship employment as well.
It's never too late to begin looking for internship or post graduate employment. However, many employers begin posting applications for both as early as the August of college senior year. So don't wait. Start now!
___ Line up references (professors, internship managers,
visiting career services,
___Clean up all social media pages
___ Register with the college or university career center. Employers who often recruit from your college or university may post applications through the career center. In most cases you will not be notified when a matching opportunity comes along so be sure to check the site weekly.
___ Register on several employment websites such as Indeed.com
___ Be flexible. Unless there is “NO WAY - no matter how many zeros are in the offer - will I ever work for or in x industry,” be flexible when it comes to employment location, employer, or industry. This means apply to every opportunity you are eligible for. Your first employment is a stepping stone, not your life's work.
___ Your resume must be specific to each employment application. Today nearly every opportunity is submitted online and sought after positions and employers use an applicant tracking system (ATS) which is fancy for ‘checking keywords in your resume and application before it gets into human hands.’ There are free and paid tools online where you can submit your resume and the specific job application description and it returns ideas for making it better. (Jobscan, Zipjob, etc.) You’ll find many articles online about ways to beat the applicant tracking system but here are a few to get you started:
-Critical keywords are used more than once.
-Use a skills section to add keywords that you might not be able to add elsewhere.
-Simple formatting. Clear headings. No fancy fonts or graphics.
-Do not leave out dates of employment - Some systems screen by amount of experience.
___ Have a ‘for human eyes’ resume / CV for networking and personal opportunities.
___ When requesting letters of recommendation, send your human eyes resume/CV and a photo in the email or letter in which you are requesting it. (This reminds the recommender of who you are. Professors have hundreds of students.)
___ Pay for a professional LinkedIn profile so you can be found and submit job applications. You can downgrade after you get gain employment. Change your LI profile banner to showcase your industry or interests that would be interesting to an employer. Change your LI profile photos to add a brightly colored border circle. In a general search yours will stand out.
___ Every social media profile banner should indicate your field and accomplishments. It is your brand.
___ Cover letters can be a way to differentiate you from other applicants. Research the company and the heads of the department or area. Is there anything in the company future plans, accolades in the recent past, or company culture that you can speak to from your personal experience, in the cover letter. If a cover letter is being submitted online along with the resume be sure you also repeat a few of those keywords.
___ Prepare for interviews by reviewing the job description and researching the company again. Also review your resume and application.
___ Consider having a personal brand website where you can upload photos and information about your team projects. There are free sites such as WIX and WEEBLY available. The paid versions allow more customization. You can upload your resume for downloading, or have a ‘contact’ page.
If this checklist is helpful to you, let me know!