It’s internship season and employers are geared up to recruit and compete for the next generation workforce. Job seekers are also geared up and ready to compete for the next hot opportunity. The workforce is a competition between talents. Job seekers compete for jobs and internships, and employers compete for applicants. When preparing to enter the job market, it’s important to go in with a game plan. Spartans are champions; triumph comes from spear heading a strategic, well thought out action plan!
1) Clarify Goals
Determine the kind of skills, experience, and learning outcomes you would like to accomplish. During an interview, an employer may ask “What are you looking to gain from this internship?” This is one reason why it’s important to have established goals planned in advance. Be sure you can convey these goals to a potential employer.
2) Starting the Job Search
The Career Center should be your starting point when beginning your job/internship search. Utilize SpartaJobs, the official SJSU job/internship job database. Employers annually post tens of thousands of jobs to the database specifically to attract SJSU Spartans.
Additionally you can:
- Utilize job search engines: www.simplyhired.com or www.indeed.com
- Use job search sites: www.careerbuilder.com or www.snagajob.com
- Access social media networking sites: LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.
- Conduct a Google search to find organizations and opportunities i.e. “HR internships San Jose”
- Network, network, network! Some great professional networking sites to consider in the Bay Area are www.meetup.com and www.everycircle.com
- For more tips and information, explore the Career Center’s Job Search Resources.
3) Applying for an internship
The application process is not uniform. Depending on the organization, there may be multiple rounds of interviewing or different application materials.
When applying for an internship, be aware of the application deadline and requirements. Most employers will require a resume and cover letter in addition to an application. You may be asked to complete an application online. Don’t be alarmed if an employer refers you to their website instead of collecting a resume from you in person. This practice is typical within some organizations and is simply a matter of protocol.
The internship search process takes time. Don’t rush yourself. Start your preparation search early to allow time enough for exploration. Begin networking and making professional contacts as soon as you enter college. Remain positive, and know that SJSU Spartans are a hot commodity; there’s a war for talent, show employers why you’re worth the battle!
Daniel Newell is the Job Development and Marketing Specialist for San Jose State University. He has over eleven years’ experience in the employment industry and serves as a commissioner to the City of San Jose where he provides advice and resources on many issues, including employment.