This time of year can be stressful, especially for sophomores, juniors, and seniors. This is the time people start landing their internships for the summer. We have to worry about applications and interviews while also balancing schoolwork, social lives, sleep schedules, and extracurriculars. It's easy to get caught up stressing about the future, but here are a few ways to get ahead of the game and feel prepared.
Perfect your resume
Look up resume templates online or ask an older friend or relative to take a look at their layout. Make sure you highlight the important things about yourself that apply to the employer. Classes you have taken may be more important to include than the lifeguard job you had in high school depending on your major. Always try to keep it to one page or less. Go to resume building workshops if you aren't sure where to start!
This is one of the best and easiest ways to improve your resume. Being involved in clubs or having leadership experience is the best way to make yourself stand out. Even if you don't have the best GPA, employers want to see you are well-rounded and involved.
Attend networking events/career fairs
This is one of the easiest and best ways to get a foot in the door with future employers. Look at your school's career development website, and see what events are coming up and what applies to your major! Go to as many of these as you can.
Apply as many places as you can
Even if you don't think you are interested in a certain place or position, apply anyways. You never know what you could be good at until you try it. Experiment while you can!
Practice your elevator pitch
What are the most important things to highlight about yourself in 30 seconds? Know how to introduce yourself in a way that makes you sell yourself. Who are you, what are you looking for, what are your skills?
Perfect your handshake
Even though it may seem like a minor detail, a good handshake can go a long way. Always remember, keep it firm but not too aggressive.
Work on doing mock interviews with friends
Interviews can be scary and intimidating. You never know what to expect and there is a lot of pressure on you. By practicing your answers for common interview questions, you can feel more prepared.
The best thing you can do for yourself is to get a jump start on things. Don't wait until the last minute when employers are no longer looking for interns.
Even if one position doesn't work out in your favor, don't lose hope and don't let it affect your next interview. Employers know who would fit for a position better than you do. You probably would not have been happy there anyway.
The easiest thing you can do to sell yourself is to make sure you are always smiling through the whole process. Make yourself approachable and personable. Employers are looking for people that will fit into the company culture and get along with everyone. Be friendly!