6 Steps College Students Should Take to Land a Job or Internship

6 steps college students should take to find a job or an internship

Hey, everyone! Those who know me well know that I’m super obsessed with finding a job for post-graduation (haven’t had any luck yet, but only time will tell!). The job/internship search can often be discouraging, tedious, and even confusing. I’ve found some great resources along the way and have some important tips which will hopefully put your mind at ease while searching! These tips won’t guarantee you a position, but they will definitely help you find more positions you’re interested in and give you a leg up on the competition.

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  1. Do a Glassdoor search


You found a job listing that appeals to you! Amazing! Before you actually apply, however, it’s not a bad idea to look up said company on Glassdoor. Glassdoor has real ratings and reviews for most major companies. What are people saying about the company culture? Is it fun or toxic? Are the managers and bosses fair or are they clique-y? Are the salaries for the position you want acceptable or not? These are important questions to consider. If the company has stellar reviews on Glassdoor, go right ahead and smash that mf apply button.

2. Create an organized spreadsheet of your applications


Okay, so you’ve decided to start applying to things! Yay! If you want to be thorough, meticulous, and organized, the first thing you should do after submitting that very first application is make a spreadsheet. You should list the name of the company, the title of the role you applied for, the date you sent in your materials, and any contact info you have for people who work there. All of this information is really important to keep track of for follow ups, and will also give you a sense of how your search is generally going.

3. Take advantage of LinkedIn


Ah, LinkedIn. Perhaps the college student’s least favorite form of social media, LinkedIn has plenty of job listings available that shouldn’t be taken for granted. Also, you can sign up for their free trial of Premium, which allows you to see how you stack up to other people who have applied through jobs through LinkedIn. Once the free trial ends, after a few months, you can sign up again and again. I’ve been through two free trials already and I’m about to start a third.

There are also virtually no social rules when it comes to making connections. It’s not like Facebook; on LinkedIn, you can connect with literally anyone you want. You have nothing to lose by making connections, only to gain.

After applying for a position, check out the company’s LinkedIn page and click “see employees.” LinkedIn will list employees that are tangentially connected to you.  Connecting with employees in the division that you applied for, as well as HR recruiters, is a good strategy. If they accept your invitation, you have a way of contacting them directly. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to par before doing so!

4. Find emails of those you want to contact


Even if you’ve connected with them on LinkedIn, it’s an even better idea to have emails on file. You can sign up for a free account on Hunter.io, which will give you the general format of company emails for almost any company you can think of. Even better, once you get an account, you can download the Hunter.io Chrome extension, and clicking the Hunter button on anyone’s LinkedIn profile will give you their company email address. The more ways to contact the company and the more contacts you have, the better your chances will be at being noticed.

5. Follow up


If it’s been two weeks since you’ve applied and you still haven’t heard back, contact the potential employer via email if possible. Explain that you submitted your materials and that you are still very interested in working for said company, and inquire if there are any additional steps you should be taking.

6. Use every resource possible


There are so many amazing resources at your disposal that you may not be taking advantage of. I know that my university’s career website is not the best. That’s why I use sites like Angel (an amazing site for startup jobs) and The Muse. These sites are carefully curated and only display jobs for companies that have exceeded a certain amount of funding and/or have rave reviews on sites like Glassdoor. If you’re a part of Greek life, take a peek at your sorority or fraternity’s alumnae directories to see if there are people you can contact. The same goes for your university’s alumnae directory.  The bigger your network, the better.

My last piece of advice is: don’t ever hesitate to reach out to anyone! You can’t get what you want if you don’t ask for it- and you’re no better off by not sending emails. You’d be amazed at what sending one simple message can do for your entire career trajectory. Good luck and get networking!


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