You’ve been rejected. You thought this internship was going to be your big break, if only they’d give you a chance.
Try to see this as an opportunity to improve your portfolio. Take a good look at your resume. Is it up to date? How have you represented yourself?
I recently completed an assignment for a digital media course where we had to identify ourselves on the 49 personality archetypes chart. Be honest with yourself, and do your best to pinpoint your strengths and weaknesses on this chart.
Once you’ve completed this task, be mindful of the wording when you transfer this information to your resume. For example, I wouldn’t recommend putting rock star on your list of professional strengths. Yes, I am a rock star. Does my potential employer need to know that?
Get your friends and family involved. Ask them to give you six words, preferably from the list of personality archetypes, to describe you. It will help you focus on your end game, and it will boost your somewhat bruised ego.
I asked my friends and family to give me my six words and was pleasantly surprised by the result. Even if you haven’t received a rejection letter, this is a great exercise for anyone looking to build a portfolio.
Unplug, unwind and get outside. Get inspired. Have you been hitting the books too hard and can’t seem to get your head on straight? Chances are you’ve been too wrapped up in technology and need to unplug for a bit.
I recently read that staring at a little smart phone screen can be bad for your back. Look at yourself, right now. Yes, you! Are you slouching? Sit up straight, and stretch your back. Better yet, go outside and walk your dog; he’s been begging for days.
Speaking of research, did you know that walking for just 30 minutes a day can enhance mental well being? Also, you can get your dog to stop staring you down every time you stand up or go near a pair of shoes.
If you’re like me, and there’s not an extraordinary amount of relevant work experience you have to share on your resume, you need to fill in the blanks. Employers don’t want to see huge gaps in work history. Look for volunteer opportunities. It says a lot about a person to give freely to a higher cause, and there are plenty of opportunities to choose from.
What do you really want to do? Take what they call a “dark-room” moment, and look within. What are your core values? What are you passionate about? What sets you apart from the rest of the herd?
Put the shoe on the other foot. Imagine you are an employer, and you are rummaging through a huge stack of job applications you’ve received. Let’s say you’ve looked at 200 job applications. Imagine that about 150 of the 200 job applications looked exactly the same. The 150 that look exactly the same are easy to shove aside, aren’t they?
As someone seeking employment, you have really got to dig deep and figure out what distinguishes you from everyone else who’s applying for that job. You need to make that resume pop.
Lastly, be sure your social media platforms are professional. It is a well-known fact that employers will Google a potential employee, which can make or break you in the hiring process.
Make sure your profile picture doesn’t showcase you and your bestie doing tequila shots out of a pair of longhorn antlers in a shoddy downtown bar. You and your friends might think it’s hilarious, but your potential boss will not.
Remember to keep the big picture in mind. Remind yourself that you already have a great deal of work under your belt, and you’ve come a long way to get here. That’s not going away overnight, just because one employer didn’t choose you this time. Use this as a learning experience to make yourself better.
Make sure your resume and portfolio are professional, and do an adequate job of representing the real you. Good luck, and happy hunting.