This blog post was written by Courtney, our Campus Ambassador from the University of South Carolina. Follow her on Twitter @CourtPierson
Along with many of you, I have grown to love and appreciate all words of wisdom from fashion pr powerhouse Kelly Cutrone. My favorite comes from her book If You Have To Cry, Go Outside: And Other Things Your Mother Never Told You. Here she expresses to readers, “you find out who you are by figuring out who and what you're not.”
Now we have all read great tips on how to get the most experience and knowledge through internship experiences, and these ideas can absolutely help land that great job after graduation. But what I suggest is that we take a look at what we can learn from the internship search itself. Have you ever found yourself applying for the same internship each summer and getting turned down multiple times? I know I have. However disheartening this may be, I have learned to take into consideration that these hiring managers and recruiters know exactly what prior experience is necessary for a candidate to be successful in their listed position. If a hiring manager knows that certain skills and expertise are crucial for thriving in a position, and your resume does not contain those experiences, then we need to take that as less of a rejection and more as a guiding light to fields or positions that better suit our qualifications.
Was I upset when a top political public relations firm rejected me two semesters in a row? Absolutely. But I realized that the skills highlighted on my resume and the public relations endeavors I have involved myself in have had no tracing of political interest. Was it possible that a hiring manager in D.C. knew me better than I knew myself? Well it definitely seemed so after days later I landed a sports marketing internship that proved to be the perfect arena to display my skills (pun completely intended.)
Rejections from certain companies or industries may be telling you that they are not the place you need to be. Granted, there are situations where another candidate was just a little more qualified and got the offer with a company you are fit for. However, if corporate positions seem to never work out are, yet callbacks from nonprofit sectors are flooding your voicemail that may just be the place for you.
If you're thinking these companies have it all wrong and you know this is the industry for you, try tweaking your resume or having someone already in the field take a look at your cover letter and the portfolio examples you are sending out. You may be the right person for the job but your application materials are not highlighting the right skills or qualifications.
Have you had any rejection-turned-perfect-opportunity stories? We would love to hear them!