Landing a Job Without a Network
Recruitment season is coming up, so I thought it'd be the perfect time to talk about landing your dream internship/job! A lot of people think the only way to land an internship is by knowing someone working at the company and getting a referral. While this does help, you don’t need a referral to land a job/internship. I'm proof of that and I truly believe that a person's work speaks for itself. With hard work and getting your resume into the right person's hand, you don't need a referral.
Get Experience & Don’t be Picky
Having experience on your resume will put you leaps and bounds ahead of other applicants, especially if you’re young. When you’re first applying to internships, apply to companies of all sizes. When you’re a freshmen/sophomore, it’s hard to compete against people who have more experience. Still apply, but be open to working at a start-up or midsize company. This will set you up next year for those larger companies.
Another thing, is don’t be picky about the internship you get. There are so many soft skills and technical skills you will gain from working that you don't learn at school. Recruiters know this, which is why they value experience so highly. I once heard a recruiter scan over a great resume, but didn’t want to hire the person because they didn’t want to train someone from the ground-up. Even if the role doesn’t align perfectly with your dream job, take it! The skills you learn from industry are invaluable and can help you land your dream job in the future. I took two marketing internships, knowing that I didn't want to be in marketing in the future, but the experience allowed me to transition into UX Research.
If you’re an underclassmen, apply to summer seminars
A lot of large companies hold summer seminars that are typically a week long. This helps you better understand the company culture and will allow you to network with employees. If you're interested in the company, be sure to keep in touch with those you meet, so when the next recruitment cycle comes along, you can reach out to them!
LinkedIn & Cold Emails!
I’ve written about this time and time again, but it is so effective! Utilize LinkedIn and cold emails to get your resume noticed. When you directly send someone your resume, they won’t miss it! If you have a strong resume and have a personalized message, your skills will speak for itself and you’re on your way to interviews!
This goes along with not being picky with internships, but I think it's important the reiterate the importance of being open-minded. It's easy to get tunnel-visioned and feel like there's only one path to reach your end goal, but keep your mind open to other opportunities that come your way. I honestly don't think I would be where I am today if I didn't take the chance to work at a start-up or take a UX Research role when I was planning to do UX Design. Life is unpredictable, but it all works out in the end, so embrace the opportunities that come your way.
Good luck to everyone as school and recruitment season starts!