When can a post-grad find love? I'm not talking about actual love -- there are several apps for that; I'm talking true, gainful employment love.
Many people find themselves graduating from college with an undergraduate degree and more than a few good internships under their belts. They understand where they want to go and also have a "no job is too small" attitude. Yet come August, most graduates are still unemployed.
This is largely due to the fact that many entry-level positions are looking for candidates with one to two years of experience, and sometimes even specify that this does not include internship experience.
Really? I thought that is why they told us to get experience, so we could obtain these mythical jobs. It's not that internships aren't helpful at getting jobs out of college, it's just that you have to spin this experience in a variety of ways to really make them count.
1. Don't have the same internship twice.
Make sure you are getting a new set of skills with whatever internship you take on. Chances are you know the field you want to go into, but not the one facet of that field you want to make a career out of.
Interested in marketing and have an account internship? Next semester, do a media planning or social media internship. Stick within your field for consistency's sake, but build an array of talents and tools. You will never know what you can accomplish or which will end up being the career of your dreams.
2. Keep in touch.
Keep in touch with old bosses and interns you worked with. You aren't going to get by with just your résumé alone; employers sometimes receive hundreds of applications for just one position.
Hiring managers care about what your old boss has to say about you; maybe your fellow former intern who has a cool job helps sneak your name to the front of the pile. Make sure to include a list of references each time you send in your résumé, so employers can see there are people willing to vouch for you.
3. The interview doesn't stop once you get the job.
You may think you can relax once you've landed that dream job you never thought you would ever obtain, but think again. The first few months are the probationary months, where employers not only assess if you are as good as you claimed to be in your interview, but decide if you fit the culture of the office.
Sometimes you aren't a good fit for your place of work, and that's usually pretty evident soon after hiring. That's fine. Take what you can from each experience -- it will only help you later on. The key is to apply that same level of work you had when you were hungry and desperate and use it in your job.
4. Don't just let them interview you; interview them.
Think about it: The people who are hiring you for internships are going to play a very big part in getting you your first full-time job after college in a terrible job market. You want to make sure these are people who are on your side, have enough contact to really be of service and are going to be on your team.
When you are in the interview, really invest yourself. Ask the interviewer questions, and ask specifics about his or her job. Most of the time, you will be interviewed by someone whose job you will want to have in a few years. Make sure you want to follow in his or her path.
Overall, treat finding an internship like heading into a candy store. You have so many exciting possibilities and they should all be jumping up to grab you.
Apply broadly, but put your whole heart into each application. Post-grad job hunting will be hard, but these internship connections are going to be the ones to make it easier.
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