Days spent scouring job and internship boards, submitting countless applications and receiving little to no response from recruiters and employers, can drive the confidence out of the most optimistic people, especially those fresh out of academia.
Why the un-reciprocated interest from companies? When you feel like you can’t relate to anybody more than this guy, it is time to review your job hunting techniques.
It may seem as though you have done everything right; but ‘right’ is not always right, particularly when you are competing against hundreds of other candidates who are also doing it ‘right’. In an EFinancial Careers poll, most voters claimed to have applied to 20-50 positions within the past 6 months, with almost 10% of votes stating that an excess of 200 applications were submitted.
Before you fall into a pit of internship-less despair, you should reconsider where and to what you are applying for. Maybe now is a time to be selective, to apply for less-established companies, or to find a niche and exploit it!
- Step out of your comfort zone and explore sectors you haven’t usually considered – the experience you gain from most internships will help you undoubtedly in whichever career path you choose, and the knowledge you learn will forever be applicable if you are flexible with your skills. An engineering graduate, for example, can dive into multiple specialties from science to agriculture. A prime example is this brilliant civil engineering paid internship.
- Think big, go small – Smaller businesses and start-ups mean more hands-on experience with a tight-knit group. You may have a better time on a banana boat with a team who are willing to work and progress with you rather than a jam-packed cruise liner where you can’t locate the head chef let alone the captain. You can only imagine how easy it is to have your resume disappear under a pile of applications with a large scale organisation. Following on from Forbes’ reasons why ‘A Startup Is Still The Best Place To Work’, Roadio’s technology start-up internship shows how younger companies can give you more to do and, as is the case with this technology internship with Eclipse, you could just find yourself being provided with a better salary than the ‘big names’ would offer.
- Sub-edit yourself: in your cover letters, personal statements and e-mails, you don’t need to ease into your best qualities. This isn’t a Mariah Carey song that must always begin ‘airy’ and ‘breathy’ before diving into the power vocals after the bridge. Be concise and highlight your suitability for a role as early as possible in your cover letter. Whether you do or do not enjoy competition, it is always there and you must be able to efficiently adapt your profile.
The old adage of ‘quality over quantity’ still rings true. Bear in mind the lengthiness of hiring interns for each recruiter, so it is important to remember that patience is still required during your intern-seeking journey. Stay up to date with the latest paid internships at Intern Avenue.