How College Juniors Can Get Ahead on Job Applications
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to attend job fairs. You get tons of companies together in one place! Networking with companies at a job fair gives you an advantage over those applying online because you can give your resume out in person and fill out job applications on the spot. Having conversations with employers before you even fill out an application is great. Don’t forget to bring copies of your resume or business cards and dress to impress. If you do happen to come across a company that interests you, you want to make a good first impression. This is like a mini interview where you are in charge and get to decide if you want to give out your resume. Juniors at job fairs have an advantage because many companies are looking for upperclassman who have a better focus on their interests and career choices. But even if you aren’t sure what you want to do in life, you should still attend. Job fairs can introduce you to potential careers and jobs you might be interested in. So, go and have a look around, and ask questions even if you’re not sure you want to work at that specific company. Don’t forget to ask for business cards from the companies you are interested in as well.
Create a LinkedIn Account
LinkedIn is one of the best professional social accounts for you to make connections and find jobs. You can join groups, stay in touch with contacts, and get alerts for open positions in your field.
Professionalize Your Social Media Accounts
To successfully land an internship or job, you must be presentable online. Whether you believe it or not, there are companies who want to see how you present yourself to the world. They want to know you are professional and will be able to represent their company in a positive light. Depending on the job type, you might have to dig up some old posts to use as examples in your interview. This is more likely for those studying communications, public relations, mass media, and marketing. But the same rule applies even if you aren’t in these fields. Also, make sure to ask friends to remove any potentially damaging material that you are tagged in. You can then manage your settings on Facebook to approve everything you are tagged in, set your account to private, or remove your last name from your profile to keep your social media presence off a potential employer’s radar.
Interviews are not easy and it’s important to practice and know what you’re going to say at each one. Visit the career center at your school and see how you can set up a mock interview. What’s great about it is that they film the interview so you can review your performance. I know it’s cringey to watch and listen to yourself, but being able to go back and see how you did will significantly improve your interviews. If this isn’t an option for you, print out a list of common interview questions and practice by yourself, recording with your phone or computer. Not only will you be more prepared with your answers, but you can see how much you fidget, if you’re maintaining eye contact, and note how many “like” and “ums” you say when answering questions.
Before you send in your resume to employers, visit the career center at school to have it reviewed. You will receive very helpful tips to help make your resume stand out. You can also get advice on cover letter development. Great resumes and cover letters can put you ahead in job applications and help you land a job, so invest some time in it.
People say this all the time, not just to be annoying, but because it’s true. Network! Network! Network! Who you know is definitely important and can be beneficial when looking for an internship or job. Don’t forget to keep your professors on your list of connections. They can be beneficial for recommendations. If your future profession has an organization (for example, AIGA is the profession association for designers), join it! You can often join these organizations at a discounted student rate and local chapters often sponsor events where you can kick start your networking.