Underclassmen: Here’s how to land a job your senior year
At the end of senior year, you start to realize what you should have done as a sophomore
I’ve become a sad cinnamon roll of a senior. Graduation is less than a month away and my job search is looking bleak. There are so many things I wish I did my freshman, sophomore and even last year that would make this whole looking for a job thing so much easier. Follow these tips, underclassmen, otherwise you too may become a sad, jobless cinnamon roll.
Make a resume — Now
When I first started putting together my resume, it wasn’t until second semester junior year. I had never had an internship. I didn’t have any relevant experience to list. To make matters worse, I had decided to switch majors completely the year before. (I went from Computer Science to Women’s Studies) I wish I had started thinking about internships and resumes in my sophomore year. Even if it doesn’t feel like you have anything to write down, it’s possible to make what you do have look good. You got into college after all.
LinkedIn isn’t just for your parents
LinkedIn is Facebook for professionals. It works this way: you post all of your academic and professional accomplishments, connect with people who go to your school or work in the field you want to enter, and find job listings or interesting articles that you may want to know more about. A LinkedIn profile is absolutely crucial if you want to be competitive in the job market, especially corporate work. It’s also a really great way to keep work people off of your personal Facebook account.
- Tips on building a social resume
- Tips for getting started on LinkedIn
- A student LinkedIn profile checklist
Internships are a necessary evil
From my personal experiences and those of my classmates and friends, internships are all show and no substance. Landing one is difficult – especially one that pays – but once you get there, most interns don’t find themselves doing much. You get coffee, run errands and do the tasks that no one else in the office wants to do. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes people get lucky and are given actual work and opportunities to learn. The reality is, however, you need an internship to be competitive come graduation, so start applying, frosh!
- Career Knight internship & job portal
- Check other neighboring university (NYU, Columbia, Princeton, etc) websites for what they’re suggesting to their students, especially within your major
- Find out who handles the internships in your department and talk to them about opportunities, as well as Rutgers Unpaid Internship Scholarship Fund.
Getting a job is about the people you know
When it comes time to get a real job (#adulting), you’re going to realize that you’re up against candidates that look pretty much identically employable on paper. That’s why you need to make your face and name a priority. The way you do that is by talking to people. Request every informational interview you possibly can. Come prepared with questions. Write down everything you can remember afterwards. Follow up with a thank you email. The more people you connect with, the more people you can potentially reach out to and say: “Hey, I applied to an internship/job/fellowship at your place of business. Would you mind putting in a word for me?” This is one of the most effective ways of getting a call for an interview.
- What the hell is an informational interview?
- How the hell do I request an informational interview?
- Okay, I got one. What do I do now?
Use Rutgers’ Resources
You’re pretty lucky to have such a large school like Rutgers at your disposal. I already linked to their Career Knight internship & job portal above, but that website is part of an even bigger Career Services department. (They’re the people that have been spamming you about Johnson & Johnson networking events all year.) Despite the spam, they’re pretty helpful. They have drop-in resume hours, where you can get advice about what to fix on your resume. You can also schedule appointments (30 mins each) to talk to a professional about getting an internship, a job or even what you think your major should be.