In general, I consider myself a pretty humble individual. However, one of the things I don’t mind bragging on is that my resume is thick.
Considering my age (at the time of this post, I’m a rising junior in college) I have over half a year of real job experience from two different internships, as well as jobs as an editor, reporter and social media manager, a gig in retail, and one more summer to go until post-grad life.
(I repeat: I am a very, very humble individual.)
While the process of applying for and landing a job is quite the journey, finding the job that’s right for you can be a struggle in and of itself, and is often one that prevents people from getting any experience at all. Spending hours poring over pages of useless Google results, debating over which listings seem legit and which seem too vague—the sources for stress are endless, and who has time for all that?
There, there, my fellow career gal, and fret not: it doesn’t have to be this way. There are plenty of roads that will lead to finding the perfect internship, and in my experience, these are a few of the best ways to make it happen.
BEFORE YOU GET STARTED
Before you even begin the hunt for your dream job, make sure you take some time to clean up your act. When was the last time you updated that resume of yours? Is your LinkedIn up-to-date and filled with all of your prior experience and wonderful accomplishments? Make sure the answer is yes, and then and only then should you move on to your job search.
While your LinkedIn profile should include all of your experience, your resume should be a bit more concise. I always advise people to have more than one resume, with each version structured around the job you want. For example, if you’re hunting for a job in journalism, have a resume centered around your work at the school newspaper and as a blog editor; if you’re looking for a retail-centered job, mention your previous experience working in the mall or at that vintage store; and so on.
I also have two different resume templates—one “fun” and colorful version, and one B&W version—and send in whichever best fits my employer’s style or level of professionalism. For example, if I were applying for a creative design job, I would send in my “fun” resume, whereas for a more business-oriented job, I would send in the black and white copy.
Finally, when you’re creating your resume, remember: keep all versions to one page, make your name big and visible, be sure you don’t over-stylize, don’t forget to include your email address and phone number, and for goodness’ sake, DO NOT LIE. For a few more tips, here’s some great advice from Levo that really helped me when formatting my own resume.
FIVE GREAT RESOURCES THAT WILL HELP YOU FIND YOUR DREAM JOB
1. Social media
Since you already spend so much time on Twitter, you might as well use it to advance your career. By following career accounts like @CondeNastCareer, @TimeIncCareers, @FashionistaJob, and similar accounts, I make sure I’m keeping an eye out for my next job even while I’m laughing at memes and old Vine threads (#RIP).
If you’re a journalism major comme moi—and particularly one interested in fashion—@ED2010News is my favorite place to job hunt. They update their Twitter and website daily with great jobs from places like Vogue, REDBOOK, People Magazine, and other publications, as well as regularly share great advice on landing and succeeding at a job.
The same concept applies to Facebook. Especially in larger cities like New York, there often exist Facebook pages and groups where small businesses and boutiques will post listings seeking candidates for jobs and internships, often with little to no experience required and the occasional option of working remotely—perfect for students looking to make a little extra $$$ on the side.
2. Your school
Your college is a great resource for finding jobs and internships perfect for students and post-grads alike. From your concentration’s website to club listservs, your school will always be one of your best connections.
Although there should be plenty of online resources, my main advice is actually some of the most common wisdom given to incoming students: go to office hours. By that, I mean make friends with your teachers. This method is tried and true for me: both of my internships were discovered through recommendations from professors who knew me and my interests.
3. Your school…again
My friend Mary Elizabeth is the queen of this tip, which I would never have thought of on my own. She’s an amazing networker and taught me that one of the best ways to get an internship is to connect with your school’s alumni.
Reaching out over email or LinkedIn to alums who work in your field is a great way to get your foot in the door and get recommendations for jobs. Best case scenario, your mutual love for your college sports lands you a job; worst case scenario, you gain the friendship of somebody who was once in your position and can advise you on how to get to theirs.
4. Friends & family
If you’re not seeing a trend here, allow me to clue you in: finding jobs and internships is often less about what you know, and more about who you know. And sometimes, who you know just so happens to be your dad’s best friend from high school, or your sister’s friend’s mom, or your cousin twice-removed’s boyfriend, all of whom just so happen to work in your desired field.
Don’t be afraid to ask your friends and family if they’re connected to anyone who could help you get your foot in the door. Chances are, you have mutual friends in unexpected but helpful places.
When all’s said and done and the dust settles into the dirt, LinkedIn will always be there for you. It’s a resume, messaging system, and job search tool all in one, and allows you to find, save, and sometimes even apply for jobs directly through the website. Search for jobs in whatever season, city or field you want; get endorsed for all your fabulous skills; and most importantly, make those connections!
Have other tips for job and internship hunting? Share them in the comments below and help a fellow career gal out!