Managing Your Internship Search

Daily inspiration and advice for the ambitious savvy young professional
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Managing Your Internship Search

This blog was written by guest blogger, Andi from Polish My Crown. She is the former campus ambassador from Ohio University.

Where does the time go?! February is already halfway over? Rather than sit here in disbelief that 2012 is moving along quickly, begin thinking ahead. We're gearing up for springtime which means you should already applying for spring and summer internships. Some of you may be graduating college, as I was about this time last year, and you may be looking for jobs! Yikes! I want to share five key tips to successfully managing your job or internship search.

1. Google docs. I have one Google doc that lists every person I have networked with or met before. This is a tip I learned from Lauren the summer I interned with her and something I've continued into my career now. I write the name, company, contact information (including LinkedIn and Twitter URLs) and way that I met each person in a Google Doc spreadsheet. I also include the date I last contacted them. This document lets me find out who I need to stay in touch with and who I need to outreach. Hint: this isn't something valuable only in a job search! You can use this ANYTIME.

One Google doc came particularly in handy when job hunting. For each job I applied for, I listed the following:
Position Title
Company
Location
Link to job posting
Date I applied
Recruiter/HR Contact
Date I last contacted
This was a super helpful way to organize the job hunting process and track my progress. Again, it was helpful for sending those follow-up emails and thank you notes!

2. Don't use people. Be careful when emailing your contacts and people who work at companies or in industries you may be interested in. I'm sure they are happy to help, but wording is key. Ask for proactive tips, what exactly they do day-to-day, how they landed their position. Don't make the conversation all about you! I've received (and ignored) emails that read: "I want to work for your company. Can you pass my resume along to HR?" I didn't even KNOW the person! The answer was a big fat no. You should never beg for someone to pass your resume along; they should want to send it based on the way you handle the correspondence

3. Joy is mind over matter. This little mantra is something I live by daily, but I think it relates to the job and internship search as well. You may be applying for tons of jobs and not hearing back. This can be very discouraging, trust me - I know! Don't let the "no's" defeat or discourage you. Keep on applying. Keep on pressing forward and staying positive about future opportunities. The people who get stuck are the ones who let their circumstances rule, rather than dust themselves off and keep trying.

4. Use Twitter effectively. I know...you've heard it a million times. You should have a Twitter account and be engaging with people in relevant industries. Are you looking for a job in PR? Well, you should make a "PR firms" list on Twitter and include all firms and companies you are applying to in that list. Add in relevant employees that are on Twitter as well. Share content that relates to what you are studying in school and what you are interested in career-wise. I was looking for jobs in PR and social media, so I shared articles that were interesting to me in those fields. One key point: don't simply share, share, share industry content. Have your own voice! What makes you STAND OUT and be a UNIQUE candidate is when you are creating your own content and establishing your own voice on Twitter.

5. Say thank you. This one's another easy one to remember, but unfortunately, just as easy to forget. Saying thank you is KEY. After every interview, at the end of every email - anything job or internship search related needs to include "thank you." This shows you are polite and appreciate of that individual's time. There's no excuse to NOT say thank you!

Feel free to reach out to me for any questions about the job or internship hunt at andreateggart[at]gmail.com. You can also visit my blog for more lifestyle tips and advice at http://polish-my-crown.com.

Good luck!