It is great to be a college student for many reasons. You managed to get into a third level institution in the first place. And you are studying something that you choose and not more all those subjects that you disliked throughout your school years. What have you heard about internship?
Still, you might be struggling with the costs of college education. Or you might be looking for some work experience so not to leave college with an empty resume. And the answer to both situations can come in the form of an internship or a seasonal job to you.
Internship or a seasonal job?
First, let’s explain the pros and cons of choosing either an internship or a seasonal job, as they are very different types of work opportunities.
An internship is directly connected to your area of expertise. You will be working in your industry and learning something that you will be able to apply for your future job. It is a great opportunity to find out if you picked the right path for your career and to start meeting people with same interests as yours.
On the other hand, seasonal jobs can be anything. They don’t need to be linked to what you are studying. Most of the seasonal job is available in Summer or over Christmas holidays, and they exist to fulfill a temporary demand. They can have very flexible hours and pay very good commissions.
Which one is best for you will depend on your goal. If you want is learn in the long term or do some networking, an internship should be best for you. But if you are looking for some extra cash fast without signing a contract, most of the seasonal jobs will pay much better.
Of course, it is always possible to get the best of both worlds and find an internship that pays well or a seasonal job in your area of expertise. However, it might take more time to find – and there will be more competition as well.
Look for opportunities in your college
The first place where you should be looking for opportunities is your college. You probably have one (or more) notice boards where you can find posters from companies looking for temporary employees. Your college also might hold job expo on the campus, during which companies try their luck charming the best candidates to their internships programs.
If you have any career service in your college, you should make the most of it as well. Ask your advisor or counselor about the best job opportunities to college students that they are aware. And don’t forget to ask the same question to other students, as they might have some tips for you.
Do some online research
Check the most popular websites for any seasonal opportunities. Visit the website the websites of companies that you know that usually hire interns or seasonal employees, so you know that they are receiving resumes at the moment.
Make a list of how their application process starts: if they have an online form for resumes, an e-mail to send it, or if you should drop them at their offices – in this case, make sure that you call them and ask to whom you should address your CV and what is the best time to show up.
Write a compelling resume
You still are a college student, so the chances are that you don’t have much to add to your CV in terms of job experience. Still, there are many ways that you can use so to stand out from the crowd. You just need to identify those unique characteristics that you can offer.
Think about all the soft and hard skills and that you already have that can be relevant to the job and add them to your CV. Ask your professors for reference letters and mention any prizes or projects that you have nailed – so you can prove that you know how to deal with deadlines and that your organizational skills are at its best, for instance.
Get ready to manage your time
One of the questions that your recruiter will ask you is how you plan to conciliate your college duties with your work. And it certainly is something that you should take into consideration carefully. You know that you were already overwhelmed by so many books to read and assignments to prepare, imagine how it will be when you have to spend several hours at work daily.
Thankfully, there are several ways to get around it. You can, for instance, outsource your essays to an online agency, such as trustmypaper, so they can get the writing done for you. Or you can make the most of the time you spend on public transport, where you can review your classes and do your assignments.
In any case, what matters is that you assure your recruiter that you understand the challenge and that you are prepared and excited to face it.
Be ready to hear “no”
Looking for an internship or a seasonal job isn’t easy. Especially if you live in an area with several colleges around yours, the competition can be huge and fierce. So be prepared to hear “no” more times than you wish. But it certainly shouldn’t make you give up.
More you fail, more you learn, and it is how you should see each “no” you get: as a learning opportunity. And as often as possible, you should make a phone call to the company that declined your CV and ask them for feedback. This way you can stop committing the same mistakes.
Sell yourself as a professional
And talking about common mistakes, one that college students frequently commit is underestimating their qualities. It is not because you don’t have much of an experience that you should go to an interview feeling like the company will do you a favor giving you the job.
Above all, always remind yourself that companies are no charity. They have a goal in their mind, and it is profit. They wouldn’t be calling you for an interview if they didn’t think you could do the job because it would mean a waste of resources and time.
So keep your head up and sell yourself as the professional that you are, not a beggar. This way you are more likely to earn their respect and be hired.
The bottom line
Getting an internship or a seasonal job can be hard, but not impossible. You only need to identify where the opportunities are and how you can apply for them. Many companies are happy to test new talents, so there is an opportunity waiting for you out there.
Make sure that your resume is shining and that you are ready to conciliate your college and work life without stress. Keep your search alive daily online and offline. And sooner or later you will get hired.