Application, interviews and jobs around the corner

Even though graduation is still a few months away, it is never too early to start looking for jobs.  It can be stressful and intimidating, but there are ways to help make the process easier and more successful.

The first tip to have hiring managers notice you is by having a LinkedIn profile.  It is not hard to make a profile and it makes it easy to highlight achievements and qualifications.

A LinkedIn profile allows the users to be more personal and write about several experiences they have had related to the job they want, as well as their education.  Connecting with other users and managers for places they are trying to get hired at is also beneficial since it helps get the names out of people looking for work in a certain field.

While it is important to have a profile to let hiring managers know who you are, it is also a good idea to get to know the company.  Before going to an interview, do some research on the company because that will show you have an interest in working for them.  It could also help with writing a cover letter since it will allow you to focus on the skills aimed toward that specific job.

According to USA Today, “many companies have an ‘About’ page on their websites, which is a great place to look for key details about the company as well as your potential boss. It’s also a good idea to check out current employees’ profiles on LinkedIn to get a better idea of exactly what kind of employee the company is looking to hire.”

Senior and environmental health major Megan Petraitis is graduating in May and currently looking for jobs or internships for the upcoming year.  She gave tips which have personally helped her prepare for interviews.

“To prepare for an interview, I like to research the company and the position I’m applying for.  It is a good idea to have the reasons why I fit the position well ready.  I also like to have some questions ready for the interviewer; it shows that I’m actually interested in the company and not just looking for something to fill my time,” she explained.

It may seem easy to just go into an interview and wing it. However, it is extremely helpful to participate in a mock interview, which helps one know what they need to work on when they go into the real thing.  ISU Career Center offers the chance to practice interviews with a career advisor.  It is not hard to get stuck during an actual interview because of  nerves, but practicing beforehand can be an advantage since you will already know ahead of time what to say.

One last tip:  Yes, having a degree is a huge plus to make you stand out for hiring managers.  But, it is also a smart idea to gain some real-world experience in the field before heading straight for the job.  Internships are a good way to gain familiarity in the field as well as have a firm understanding toward what your potential career could be like.

Applying for jobs and internships is a lot of hard work.  There is a large amount of preparation and motivation required for it.  To keep sane while in the process, just think about how much it will pay off in the end to have the job of your dreams as well as earning that cash (to pay off those college loans).

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