I wanted an internship in San Francisco so badly — it seemed too good to be true. Fantastic food, the nicest people, and views from every corner of the eye. It was the kind of fantasy that didn’t seem like it would ever be more than that. Just a fantasy. I applied to two internships a day and ended up with more than three hundred applications (a modest estimate) sent to major tech companies located largely in San Francisco by the end of six months. It wasn’t until I finally polished my resumé that I landed an internship with a dream tech company in the city of my dreams. That’s the trick. It’s all about curating your resumé in the right way, depending on where you’re applying, and for what job. If only someone had given me this advice, to begin with, I wouldn’t have had to suffer six months of relentless applying. I might have applied for a software position, but these tips are applicable to everyone. Whether you’re applying for jobs in graphic design, sales, marketing, publishing, or tech, you could stand to gain from polishing up your CV with these tips!
1. Start A Blog
Starting a blog might seem irrelevant to securing a job, but it actually helped me stand out in a sea of resumés. It showed recruiters that I’m passionate about what I’m doing! You can easily make a blog on websites like WordPress, Squarespace or Wix, to name a few. They’re super easy to use and customise. Make sure you have at least 10 posts before putting it on your resumé. It shows commitment to the blog and reflects the potential work ethic and passion you would bring to their office environment. If you advertise an inactive blog, the recruiter will just assume you made the blog to get into the internship program and be less likely to offer you anything.
2. Show Your Resumé To Other People
Pay attention to this one: getting your resume professionally edited might be the single most important thing you’ll learn from this article. Everyone thinks that resumés are basic and all follow a standard pattern, but more goes into them than you think. You need another set of eyes to look over your resume! CVs are almost always riddled with little mistakes, 90% of which could be solved by getting a third party to vet it. A friend of mine had misspelt her name, which was the reason so many companies were rejecting her. I forgot to include my email in my resume for a small period of time, and it wasn’t until a company actually pointed it out that I got an internship. We’re only human, and everyone makes mistakes! Get someone to look your CV over to fix them before they set you back. You can try websites like Fiverr which has people who professionally look at your resume starting at $5. Also, feel free to ask a professor at school, a successful relative, or friend to have a look at it as well! Don’t feel embarrassed. I personally had multiple people look at my resumé.
3. Master LinkedIn
LinkedIn is to professionals what Instagram is to college kids — indispensable. It’s an important network-building platform, and in order to really put yourself out there, you need to sign up. I looked at LinkedIn to compare my resumé to others and see how mine was holding up to theirs. There are also a whole host of job postings on LinkedIn which you can apply for. If you’re interested, the ‘premium’ option also lets you see which jobs match your skills and experience.
Hard work and talent will get you where you want to be — those are invaluable skills you need. Networking is an almost equally important one. While I didn’t get my internship through a connection, it always helps to know someone that can help you. Go to events, mixers, and talks where you can meet people. You don’t have to go to these events just for the sake of making connections. There’s always something to learn and new ideas to hear about, but if you manage to meet some relevant people that could be helpful in the future, there’s really no harm. Going to these events and meeting people from different walks of life is actually inspiring!
5. Apply Everywhere
I can’t stress this enough. Find every website that posts jobs and create a search alert for yourself. This is extremely important because companies will not reach out to you first — they get a million applicants. You must reach out to them. Send your resumé to every major website, but be discerning and careful about scam websites and posts! If you match at least 60% of the qualifications, apply! In my experience, women generally only apply to a job if they meet 100% of the requirements. By contrast, men apply if they meet just 60% of the requirements. The point is, there’s no such thing as a perfect applicant. There are only capable ones and passionate ones. If an opportunity presents itself, there’s no reason you shouldn’t put your foot in the door! Glassdoor, Google Jobs, and LinkedIn are great websites to look into for jobs and internships.