Mindfulness in the workplace
Ask anyone, and they will probably be able to tell you about an internship horror story they’ve either heard about or experienced. Don’t believe me? This BuzzFeed article highlights terrible experiences including applying the perfect amount of cream and sugar as the boss’ coffee gofer, to scrubbing a hair salon floor with a tooth brush.
But not all summer internships are bad, and there are many companies offering internship programs for college students or post-grads. Interns should be treated as employees and gain a meaningful experience with real work, client interaction and direct mentorship and growth opportunities – ensuring they leave their dream internship or first job better than when they came.
This spring, an estimated 2.8 million university grads will enter the U.S. workforce. Competition is high and real-world experience is a must. So how do you work yourself into a dream internship program that will help you rise above the rest? Here are some tips to help score a dream internship or first job:
Knowledge is power
Always research the company to gain information about its strategy, recent work and culture. Include these insights in your cover letter and during the interview because research shows interest and the people interviewing you will appreciate the extra effort.
Your resume shouldn’t be the main focus
Prior to what you may have heard, resumes aren’t the end all, be all. In fact, a well-written, creative and individualized cover letter can outshine any resume.
Slow and steady wins the race
Take the time with your resume and cover letter, and be sure to make changes based on the job description. Proofing is critical, so re-read everything. A minor typo can be enough to convince a hiring manager to overlook your talent.
Be safe, searchable
We live in a world full of social media, and it’s not hard to find people. So be aware of your online presence and how it may reflect on a potential employer.
Confidence is critical
Don’t just tell us what you do, show us confidence in what you do. The ability to sell yourself speaks wonders.
Toss the robotic speak at the door, and be human during the interview. Many companies look for a cultural fit, so showing off your personality will go far.
Cast a wide net
A foot in the door is all that’s needed when searching for internships or great first jobs. So put yourself out there. Talk to friends and family to see whom they know. Get involved with networking groups, and keep in touch with contacts by sharing new experiences. Remember to be personable!
Entering the job market and trying to secure a dream internship or first job is both an exciting and scary time, but there are a ton of companies and professionals out there willing to make it an easier transition. Just remember that no one is expecting you to be perfect. So don’t get frustrated and keep at it!