The final 50 is here. Have you found a job yet?
Here's how to find — and land — that last-minute job
The dreaded final 50 is officially upon us. As the last 50 days of the semester slowly pass us by, post-semester anxiety is growing. For those who are still working to secure summer internships or full-time jobs, it feels as though they are running out of time.
It can be a stressful task when all the positions available seem to require two to three years of experience. But, as Christine Cruzvergara, the chief education strategy officer at Handshake, said in an interview with Forbes, it is important to not compare yourself to others during this time because you risk getting discouraged and depressed.
Instead, here are some concrete tips for securing that perfect position.
Get out there.
Cruzvergara encouraged students to utilize career-related sites like Handshake, LinkedIn and Indeed. All three of these sites have extensive job postings that are easily searchable by field, qualifications and compensation.
Handshake itself is geared towards getting college students professional experience. This might be a better place to find positions that require less professional experience.
LinkedIn also has searchable job positions on its platform, but individuals will also post about openings at their companies, which is another way to find positions. This method requires some more time to build a network to find these professionals but can pay off in the end.
Narrow your search.
There are also more specialized sites like the New York Foundation for the Arts, which posts positions on their website for individuals looking to work in fine-arts-related fields. AngelList is another platform that specializes in startups. Meanwhile, Dice is a recruiting platform for tech professionals, and in addition to job postings, it shows information about salaries and trending skills in the tech industry. For applicants with technical or design skills, Upwork is focused on freelance gigs.
Utilizing a professional network is another great way to find positions that may not be advertised on more general websites like Handshake and Indeed. JobStars has a list of these networks on their website broken down by field.
Tell your story.
Once you’ve found a position to apply to, many job postings require a cover letter. Although annoying, these documents give you the opportunity to contextualize the experience in your resume. Most importantly, it allows you to tell a story that the hiring manager will remember.
Janine Kurnoff and Lee Lazarus suggest in their article “The Key to Landing Your Next Job? Storytelling.” that telling a story with your professional experience shows that you are more than an applicant, you are a real human. Applicants achieve this in their cover letters and interviews by supplying a big idea, characters, a setting and a resolution.
Here’s an example:
I’ve worked extensively to develop the online brand of organizations (the big idea). For example, when I started working at X company/club, they had almost no social media presence and their website lacked a real sense of personality (the conflict). To work to address this, I started thinking about what our audience (the characters) really wanted from us, and how we could refocus our online (the setting) content to be in line with this. My team (more characters) did this by doing A, B, and C. As a result, we were not only able to make beautiful and creative content, but we also boosted our engagement on Twitter by 15% the next year (the resolution).
Creating a story with your professional experience is so much more engaging and memorable to your recruiter. As Kurnoff and Lazarus write in their article, “With the right narrative, you can make anyone you want feel great — about you.”
So, although the semester feels like it is quickly coming to an end, there are plenty of avenues to find and secure your next job. Good luck!