Welcome back from November break Hawkeyes! The time between breaks can be a difficult, crazy, hard-to-stay motivated time. What’s even worse is thinking about that job or internship you’re looking to land, which hasn’t seemed to have found you yet.
I’m sure you spent every WAKING MOMENT over November break searching and working on your career development. Don’t worry; in a few weeks you have an entire month off to really dig into your search.
Here are a few pointers to help you find your position if your Career Cupid hasn’t found you a match quite yet….
1) Know what’s negotiable and what’s not.
It’s important to know what your priorities are when looking for a position. You have to know what things you won’t budge on and what you’re willing to [cope with]. Does location matter to you? Does gaining a specific skill? Does company culture? Is there a salary you won’t budge on? These are important things to know going into the search. You should also research each place you’re applying to see what flexibility comes with their positions and what others who have worked there have to say.
2) Utilize your network.
Have you contacted your mom’s best friend yet? Your high school friend’s dad? Have you reached out to your professors? Most jobs are found through networking, and if people know you’re looking, you will probably come up in conversation. Having a mutual connection can also make the interview process quicker and starting the position a bit more relaxed.
3) Prepare yourself.
Make sure that you’ve tracked all of your experiences and your skills are organized. A clean resume, passionate cover letter, and prepared answers to interview questions is over half of the battle. You have a lot to bring to the table, but without the right serving dish, you’ll never get there. You can stop by walk-in hours at the Pomerantz Career Center Monday through Friday 10 am-3 pm for a Career Peer Advisor to look over your resume and/or cover letter as well as practice common interview questions. Our website also has great resources.
4) Put yourself out there!
Now that you’ve organized all of your accomplishments and prepared yourself for interviews, you should be confident in marketing yourself! Don’t hesitate to apply for competitive positions or be intimidated by long application processes – if you want it, go for it! If you feel like you don’t have enough of the qualifications, work on highlighting what you do have and that you are willing and eager to learn. Look for positions that maybe push you a bit, ones that you wouldn’t think of right off the bat. Explore the search features on HireaHawk and LinkedIn.
5) Don’t be afraid to follow up.
You’ve contacted several employers, sent in applications, and completed interviews. One of the biggest mistakes student’s make is not following-up. If you sent in your application and feel like you’ve been waiting a while, send an email to check-up! Calling is also a great way to check-in. Many students don’t take the time to make a phone call anymore due to the ease of sending an email, so employers take note of the extra effort. If you do happen to get an interview, make sure to send a thank you letter. Most of the time, an email is acceptable, but if the company is smaller and less modern, a hand written card may be best.
Good luck with your continued search, and stay motivated through finals and break!