Graduating college is an amazing experience, but making the big transition from full-time student to employee is not always easy, especially during a pandemic. Finding and landing an internship during pre-pandemic days was already challenging. Thousands of graduates flocked to the same postings on Indeed and LinkedIn. Nothing was more discouraging than seeing hundreds of applicants for one job – thanks LinkedIn for the unnecessary reminder. But everything is a little different now.
Online job boards are like the Wild Wild West, where millions struggle to find their next gig. Jobs go up fast and come down twice as fast as they went up. Companies worldwide have had to make tough decisions to adjust to our new ‘norm’, like downsizing their workforce, making some jobs remote and rescinding internship and fellowship offers.
After Georgia went into lockdown, I immediately felt anxious. I questioned how COVID-19 would affect my internship. Would it be remote? Would it still be paid? Will I even have an internship? The c21 team assured me that everything would be the same as before except with more hand sanitizer, masks, social distancing and daily wipe downs of the common areas.
I often think about what it would be like not to have a summer internship, which makes me extremely grateful. However, I feel sorry for my friends and classmates who feel completely lost and out of control. I understand how difficult and scary it feels to be out of school AND out of work.
Some would say I was lucky to have found a paid internship with one of the best marketing and public relations agencies in Atlanta, but I say luck happens when preparation meets opportunity.
Here are five tips to help you get “lucky.”
The Only Way In Is Out
Consider doing an externship. Externships are an excellent opportunity to learn and gain experience while looking for employment. Besides, externships will fill any employment gaps on your resume. For example, AT&T recently launched the AT&T Summer Learning Academy, which included keynote speakers, 70+ business and leadership courses and a certificate of completion.
The Early Bird Gets the Job
Turn on your notifications, so you don’t miss a job posting! Nothing is worse than discovering that your dream job was posted months ago. The good thing is all online job boards can alert you when a new job is posted. Yes, notifications are annoying, but they’re worth it!
Practice Your Handshake (or in this case, elbow bump)
Well, you may not be networking face-to-face these days, so scratch the handshake. But, you can still network virtually! Get connected and STAY connected with classmates, fellow alumni, recruiters and people who work your dream job. As they (whoever “they” is) say, “It’s not what you know, but who you know.”
Don’t be too lazy
If you have the option to submit a cover letter, just do it!
Let Your Hobbies Help You
Hobbies are a great way to showcase your skills, whether you are a photographer, writer, musician, graphic designer or director. Take whatever it is that you’re passionate about and start a passion project. These projects will keep you productive and creative as you search for a job, and they will make you a more exciting and appealing candidate. Show ‘em what you got!
I hope these tips help you land an awesome internship or externship. Lastly, it’s important to note that these tips won’t work unless you do. Good luck!