As you think about taking the next step, we want to provide some common sense resources to help you think about your job search, write a more effective resume and a more compelling cover letter, and prepare to succeed in the demanding task of interviewing with prospective employers.
These resources are shared as a starting point, but we encourage you to reach out to the wide variety of resources available on the internet, and we invite you to discuss your career plans with Graham School staff.
Finding and Securing Job and Internship Opportunities
As a starting point, you should identify opportunities that are a good match for your skills, interests, and values.
Here are the steps you should take:
- Define your goals. We don’t all want the same things from life and from work. Your goals are redefined over the span of your career. Make sure you are looking for opportunities that fit your objectives.
- Plan to spend time each week on your search. Set attainable weekly and monthly goals, e.g., try to do two to three informational interviews a week to learn more about the field you’re exploring.
- Network. It’s a good idea to meet and talk with as many people in your field as possible; you never know what opportunities you could discover through contacts.
- Prepare and submit application materials. You may be asked to complete an application form or submit a resume, a cover letter, a transcript, a list of references, a letter of recommendation, essay answers to specific questions, or samples of your past work. Always submit exactly what is asked for and always send a cover letter unless it specifies otherwise.
- Keep records and follow up. Many employers say that applicants who follow up on an application increase their chances of being interviewed. Employers want to know that you’re interested in them. After applying, call the employer (unless they specifically state not to call them). Find out if they’ve received your materials. State why you’re interested and what you believe you can do for them. Typically, the best time to follow up is a week after you think they have received your application.
- Interview effectively. Interviewing itself is a skill, which we get better at the more we practice.
- Make the decision that’s right for you. There isn’t one best internship or job opportunity. Many of the benefits of an internship or job lie not in where you are working, but in what you do with your time there. This doesn’t mean you should accept any offer you receive. You’ll want to consider numerous factors, including location, housing options, cost of living, the work environment, your supervisor, your responsibilities, and more.