The summer has begun and many college students are settled into their routine– an internship, part-time job, or summer classes fill their days. It may seem crazy that a college student should be thinking about a summer job or internship for the following year, but with a challenging ob market, competition remains. Those who start early and begin the process to connect with employers now and during the fall will have more opportunities to land a job for next summer.
Here are 4 ways a student can lock in the internship or post-grad job now:
#1 Maximize campus resources.
The on-campus recruiting process for summer internships and jobs after graduation starts much earlier than students realize. Many employers are on campus looking for candidates in August—just when students return to school, with final offers presented by November. This year recruiters are looking to meet students at the campus Virtual Career Fair. Students should connect with career services and block their calendar of dates when certain employer sessions and career fairs will be on campus. Get the list of campus recruiters and think about which ones you want to meet so you are ready in the fall. You can reach out during the summer to express interest. This information is already available at your career services center and they remain open all summer.
#2 Get focused.
Narrowing down the type of opportunities you want to pursue will help with your search. If you are a marketing major, you might be thinking about sales or advertising. Or, if you are studying finance, think about what part of finance interests you—investing, sales, trading, or research? Employers want to see that you are interested in a particular area and understand why you want to pursue it. Not sure what direction to go? Seek out a family member, fellow alumni or professor who can give you insight into different career paths.
The best way to position yourself for a future internship or job is to target specific people who have the job you want. Reach out to these contacts as they can tell you what it is like to have that role. Alumni are great resources because they are the most receptive. Ask good questions about what they do and how they measure success. Then, ask if they can connect you with other peers or other job opportunities. Here are tips on how to have a great informational interview when networking.
#4 Leverage LinkedIn.
If you have not already done so, now is the time to complete your LinkedIn profile. Most employers use it as a valuable recruitment tool. In addition, LinkedIn is a good way to network and get more focused on your professional discipline. Utilize the Alumni tool within LinkedIn to see what types of jobs recent alumni have secured.
Proactively seeking out alumni, professors and career services will make a difference in the success of your job search for next summer. Most importantly, have your “pitch” ready on the skills you can bring to an employer and why they should hire you. Remember, the earlier you start, the better. If you would like to learn more about how Next Great Step helps students get an early start to lock in their internship or first job, contact Next Great Step.
Ready to hone your skills so you can answer every interview question? Learn how to tell your “skills stories” and get expert feedback with the Skills Accelerator Method. Gain access HERE.