What I’ve Learned (So Far) – Career Advice from an Adecco Summer Intern
Adecco’s Proposal and Marketing Intern Katelyn Reischke is sharing her advice on how to take advantage of career opportunities as a student seeking relevant employment. Check out her tips below.
Tip 1: Make Your Own Luck
The more connections you have, the more likely your efforts will lead to a career opportunity. Luckily, the world is full of chances to make and strengthen connections. Do not underestimate the potential of a networking connection, as their connections will open up more connections for you. Actively seek out opportunities to network by attending conferences, job fairs, corporate events, and school events. Follow up, and keep in touch via LinkedIn or email. If you are fresh on someone’s mind, they will be more likely to think of you when an opportunity arises.
Tip 2: Experience Comes in Many Shapes and Sizes
Work experience, volunteer experience, school experience—it’s all relevant! I have friends tell me that while they were in school, they focused all their efforts on getting their degree and are now lacking in the “experience” department. Unless you have just spent 4 years of your life in isolation without working on anything, you have gained experience. Beyond the content of your program, I believe that a university or college education teaches you how to manage your time, think critically, problem solve, use your resources, and write persuasively. These skills are completely relevant in the career world, so start talking about them in interviews!
Tip 3: Tailor your Resume
Winning an interview can be a difficult task, especially when competing with other young professionals with comparable resumes. So, how can you make yourself stand out on paper, and make it to the top of a potential employer’s call list? Take the time to tailor your resume and cover letter for each application. This extra effort will demonstrate to your potential employer that you are invested in the position, attentive to detail and have a thorough understanding of how your skills and experience applies to the position.
Tip 4: My Secret Gold Ticket
My older sister once advised me to follow up from an interview directly afterward with a thank you email or card. Do you think this approach sounds a little forward? I thought so too. But, I trust my sister, and so I warily took her advice. And what do you know? I won the position! The trick is to email with the intent of continuing the conversation. Emailing the same day to ask about the status of the position is not (at all) recommended. However, following up with additional questions, industry specific commentary, or to offer a relevant portfolio of work samples is completely appropriate! Use your excitement about the position to fuel discussions, inspire research and build connections. It will only make you shine.
Tip 5: Be Superstitious
If you are anything like me, you probably have developed a pre-interview ritual. For me, I always buy a new interview outfit the night before, go to bed early and have an artery-clogging bacon and egg breakfast. Of course, I could probably interview just as well with older office wear, running on seven hours of sleep and a bowl of cereal. So why do I think this ritual really makes a difference? Attending an interview can be stressful, and taking the time out to care for your mental well-being can do wonders for your performance; there is something calming about feeling that you have mentally prepared yourself to put your best foot forward.
Tip 6: You Won’t Win a Position You Didn’t Apply For
Apply for jobs, even if you aren’t completely qualified. If you have 75% of the requirements, you are doing better than most applicants. This advice was offered to me by my Dad, a hiring manager for the municipal government. Do not let yourself be deterred by the “ideal candidate” description on a job posting. Chances are you are up against other non-ideal candidates. When starting a career, your attitude is your greatest asset. Continue to build your skills, gain experience, be optimistic and aspire for achievement, and you will find a position.
Katelyn is a recent graduate from the University of Toronto with an Honours Bachelor of Science degree specializing in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences. She is attending George Brown College in fall 2015 to pursue a post-graduate diploma in Strategic Relationship Marketing.
Connect with Katelyn on LinkedIn here: ca.linkedin.com/in/KatelynReischke