When you’re a student or recent grad searching for that perfect internship or job, the job hunt can be a grind. The question is, are you being as effective as you could be? Is there anything that the most successful young hires are doing that you can learn from?
Lucky for all the young people out there looking for jobs and internships, 3 NYU students who all got hired using WayUp are each sharing their biggest job search tip for their peers who are still on the hunt.
These 3 students were in your shoes not long ago and hustled their way up (pun intended). So, we sat down with them to talk about their experience and what helped them stand out from the crowd.
1. You Don’t Have to Take Any Job or Internship
“If there’s one thing that you absolutely want from your job, hold out; you’ll get it. I had to wait until the middle of summer to get a job that would pay me and also provide me with a valuable experience, and I’m glad that I did. It was really worth it.” – Hannah Starke, NYU ‘19, Community Outreach/Marketing Intern at Sp0n
Hannah is a member of NYU’s class of 2019 and is studying in multiple departments, including Cinematography and Film/Video Production, Communication and Media Studies. As someone seeking a job in the fashion or entertainment industry, she knew that finding a paid marketing position might be tough, but she brings up an important point here: If there’s something that’s a must-have for you when it comes to a job or internship, it’s okay to hold out for it.
While you don’t want to put too many non-negotiables on your list (“I want a paid part-time internship at Chanel in the fashion closet with flexible hours and no menial tasks, or else I don’t want anything!”), having one or two things you absolutely need is perfectly reasonable. In fact, giving yourself parameters can actually make it easier to find jobs and internships you’re qualified for and excited to take on.
What could potential “must-haves” include other than money? Here are several options:
- Flexible work hours
- A specific company size
- Commitment to ongoing mentorship from a supervisor or boss
That said, holding out comes with a crucial caveat: You’ll probably have to broaden your search to include opportunities in other fields or departments. This is where our next tip comes in.
(And if you’re a New York-based college student looking for an enriching marketing experience, Sp0n, the same company that hired Hannah, is looking for campus reps this fall, who can make $15/hour. Click here to apply.)
2. Keep an Open Mind
“Start early and apply to a lot of different positions, even if it doesn’t exactly fit with your field. You never know what you could be qualified for and what kind jobs you’ll end up enjoying; it could influence what you do in the future. Don’t confine yourself too much. Keep it broad.” – Emily Cole, NYU ‘18, Marketing Intern at Red Velvet NYC
Emily is part of NYU class of 2018 and is majoring in psychology. She was most excited to get a marketing summer internship at Red Velvet, an NYC-based startup in the desert industry (yum), because she felt that the internship would provide her with a skill set she could apply across all different industries.
Emily’s advice is a great best practice when you’re at the start of your career because you don’t want to pigeon-hole yourself or refuse to look at anything that isn’t in a certain industry or department in a company. Instead, take a wise tip from President Obama and focus on the skills you want to gain instead of the title you’re hoping for.
For instance, if you wanted a paid marketing internship in fashion (which are extremely competitive and often come with no monetary compensation), you can still learn similar foundational skills from marketing internships in other fields, like tech or media, and get your must-haves. The product or service you’re selling might be different (and maybe not as glamorous), but the expertise you’ll gain can get you where you want to go in the future.
3. Tailor Your Resume for Each Job
“Make your resume short and sweet. A lot of people want to show all the sides of themselves, but for every single job, you don’t need every single side of yourself; you want the side the employer wants. Make your resume tailored to the job you’re applying for. So if you’re applying for an outreach job, add your marketing experience. If you want a tutoring job, add your educational expertise.” – Bryan Kay, NYU ‘20, Outreach Intern at The Farm
In Bryan’s case, he knew that he wanted to work at a startup that focused on content strategy, so as he applied to companies like The Farm in a very tactful way. As Bryan notes, you might feel the need to overcompensate on your resume by adding in every single thing you’ve ever done. However, when employers are looking your previous positions, accomplishments and skills, they do so in a matter of seconds. Skip the fluff and give them what they want to know.
Don’t have any outright work experience in the field you’re applying to? Include past experiences that illustrate transferrable skills.
For instance, if you’re applying to work in outreach like Bryan, you can include the fact that you created and ran your sports team’s social media accounts in college and built a bigger following than any other extracurricular group on campus. It may not be “formal” outreach experience in an office environment, but it’s more likely to get you hired than listing several unrelated positions on your resume.
Want more resume tips that’ll make a huge impact and get you hired? We’ve got 37 of them that’ll each take you five minutes or less here.
Armed with these 3 tips, you’re well on your way to becoming one of our kick-butt WayUp Bosses, a crew of amazing students and recent grads who’ve gotten hired and are taking the professional world by storm.