Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Looking for a job or internship as graduation approaches? Follow this advice

 As summer approaches, students looking for their first jobs post-college and for the summer internships are diving headfirst into the job application pool, and many are doing this for the first time. Here's a list of tips compiled from hiring managers and other professionals who attended the College Media Association Spring National Media Convention in New York last week. 

No. 1:  Read the application instructions carefully and follow them. This is the first step hiring managers take to cull through all of the applicants, which can number in the thousands these days. If you can't follow the simple instructions for applying for the job, the assumption is you won't follow the instructions on the job, either. 

No. 2:  Include your work with your application. A link to your portfolio is a must. I’m not going to come back asking for it. If you don't have. URL yet with your resume and portfolio promoting yourself, you are very behind the game. And BUY your domain name; don't use one created by a fly-by-night web publisher. 

No. 3: Make sure all the hyperlinks on your resume and website work. COPY AND PASTE them into a web browser to test them. 

No. 4: Do some research to ensure your cover letter is addressed to the proper hiring manager, or at the very least to the correct media outlet. Show me that you can do the most basic reporting.Remember, the cover letter is about the hiring manager; it's not about you. 

No. 5: Know a little bit about the place you’re applying to. Be familiar with their team and their work. If you make it to the interview phase, you need to demonstrate this is a place you have researched and really want to work for. When an employer asks you if you have any questions for them, this is what they are talking about. 

No. 6: Make sure your portfolio is up-to-date. Nothing in there should be more than a year old. You should be creating -- and improving -- all the time. 

No. 7: Include a range of work showing that you’re versatile. Don’t fill it with images from one major event, nor should you include just photos or just writing. Throw a bit of everything in there; we live in a multimedia world. 

No. 8: If your portfolio has photos, include a cutline with every image. Make sure people in your images are identified.

No. 9:  If you don’t get the internship the first time, don’t be discouraged. Keep grinding and apply again in the future. Literally hundreds, if not thousands, of people applied for the same position. 

No. 10: If you’re applying for a second time, make sure your portfolio is different from last time. Show growth. Show development. If it didn’t work last time, it won’t work this time.

No. 11: When naming documents such as your resume and cover letter, make sure your name is in the file name. It’s difficult to find your resume in the folder if it’s titled “Resume_New.” If the employer gave you a naming protocol in No. 1, follow that.

No. 12: Copy edit your resume and cover letter. If you don’t pay attention to details on your application, I’ll assume you don’t pay attention to details in your work either. I can't emphasize this enough. This will get your materials deleted faster than any other mistake. 

No. 13: If you get an interview, send a thank you email -- or even better, a handwritten note. This doesn’t take much time and leaves your name at the front of mind for the hiring manager.

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