Life & Style

Navigating job hunting season

When going to an interview, always make sure to look your best.

Log on. Open email. Click Chrome. Search “LinkedIn.” Update profile. See 14 connections get 14 amazing jobs. Congratulate them all. Update profile again. Check email. No reply from recruiter, just spam from Liquid… again. Go back to LinkedIn. Read article on how the world of business is going. New tab. Search “Handshake.” Look for jobs. Apply to anything. Get stressed out. Repeat.

This is the exact step-by-step routine I have at least three times a day, and I am positive I am not alone. Whether it is exactly like I said or something similar, the hunt for an internship or a job feels like another five-credit class that takes time and devotion that I just don’t have.

Everyone who has ever dipped their toe in the business world has given you advice on how to market yourself, apply to jobs, how to talk in interviews and, most of all, how to fix your resume. Then why no job offers? Well, I guess I am just as bad as the rest, but here is a breakdown of all the advice I have been given.

Use your resources

I think a common misconception among college students is that we have to have it all together, all the time. This just isn’t the case. Although it feels like future employers, professors and even parents might expect the most of us, really it is just to support us. They’ve been a college student before, and the careers they have now didn’t come to them the minute they threw their graduation cap.

The best part about going to a school like UW is the thousands of staff members who are happy to help their students succeed. Utilizing their knowledge and connections, the UW career fair,career counselors and UW job sites are the best way to use this resource. UW has many career resources individualized for each school at the college.

Networking is key

Networking is more than just your 500+ connections on LinkedIn, Handshake and your parents’ friends, it is about putting yourself out there. Instead of relying solely on your social persona, the best way to make a lasting impression is in person.

First, you need to be able to approach someone with a firm handshake, a confident demeanor and simply introduce yourself. A first impression goes a long way and could make or break the rest of your conversation. Putting yourself out there is the best way to get your name known in the industry.

Also, go to university resources like career fairs to meet companies that are often comprised of alumni near and far. Something I have done is research a company that interests me and ask for informational interviews with someone within the company. It isn’t an interview that is asking for a job, but showing interest and dedication to your desired industry will leave a lasting impact come application season.

Showcase your best self

A few weeks ago, I met with a professor to help me with my resume because of her experience and knowledge. I figured it was a good way for me to foster a relationship. Little did I know that she would rip apart my current resume that I thought was killer. She stripped it to the bones and shook me to my core. It was the best thing I could ever ask for.

By going to her for help and reconfiguring my resume to best exemplify and showcase my talents and limited experience, we came up with something that gives me more credit than I was giving myself.

It is easy to think that the absence of a great internship opportunity or job on an application makes us look inferior, but the experiences we have in the classroom and on campus show our skills as well.

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