It’s that time of year when everyone starts thinking about what they’re doing this summer. Some of you may have started searching back in November or December, others may be sitting down to take a crack at it now. Either way if you haven’t secured a job or internship that’s what I’m writing this post for!
I’m not going to address any of the real strategy behind networking or interviewing or anything of that sort. I want to make sure you’re doing the most effective search possible because there are tons of job listings out there.
First, you should try to narrow your search amongst a few parameters. The Internet will provide endless opportunities as long as you know what you’re looking for. This isn’t to say that you should be doing endless soul searching or career preparation, but keywords will only help in the process.
For internships: keep your terms broad e.g. Use “marketing internship” not “product marketing and communications internship”. If you want a paid internship, make sure you include that in your criteria. Much of the advice given below for job hunters may apply but not as directly, read on!
For jobs: search with the term “new grad” or select entry level if it’s an option on the search engine you’re using. Using the term “associate” may also help, depending on the industry. Next, if you know the general type of company you want to work for and you only know of one, go on LinkedIn to the company page and “View Similar Companies”. Also search for Top 10 or 50 or 100 lists, these will definitely be industry specific and may be found in industry-specific publications like Fortune, Forbes, Fast Company. When you’re networking with industry professionals, ask them what publications or blogs or websites they read to stay current on trends–if it’s not an obvious match like finance and the Wall Street Journal.
For both internships and jobs, I’ve always found it helpful to have a spreadsheet-style checklist with the following items:
- Paid/unpaid (internship)
- Application components
- Company research (look up their mission statement and values, Google them, find latest news articles if applicable)
- Follow-up (i.e. did you write an email to a Colgate alum, did you call HR etc.)
Update: Here’s a sample spreadsheet from job advice website The Prepary.
Lastly, use our Resources page for great job and internship search engines, as well as naviGATE and LACN (Liberal Arts Career Network, routed through naviGATE).
As always, if you have any questions or additional comments, please post below!