By: Tara Golenberke, marketing professional in the education industry, and former digital media & marketing manager at the DePaul Career Center
In the midst of searching for a job or internship that feeds your passions and interests? Or, perhaps you’ve already found a killer opportunity and are now journeying through the interview process. No matter what stage you’re at in the job search, you’ll want to have these ten tips under your belt.
Honesty is the best policy
Be real with employers. This includes being honest on your online profile, resume and cover letter. Upholding integrity is integral during the interviewing and job offer process.
Adulting, and conducting yourself professionally
Be prompt for interviews, dress professionally and come prepared. Preparation is key, so research the organization in advance and prepare questions for the interviewer.
Where the magic happens vs. your comfort zone
Networking gets a bad rap. The truth is, people want to help you; professionals are ready to talk to you about their industry or job, and are willing to build a relationship with you and eventually allow you to tap into their connections, you just need to speak up and make a move. Step outside of your comfort zone, call a new contact, network, ask questions and for help—you’ll not only come out of it alive, you may just end up with a new career opportunity.
Give your oh-so-wonderful references a heads-up
Reach out to potential reference candidates, catch up and kindly ask them if they would be willing to attest to your qualifications and act as a reference during your job search. Never provide the contact information of your references—or potential references—without chatting with those individuals first; Get a confirmation that they are willing to be a reference and update them on your job search and applications.
It’s the 21st century—Brush up on your video interview skills
You may find that employers will request an initial screening interview through Skype or a Google Hangout. Improve your knowledge of video tools and presentation techniques beforehand by visiting with your career advisor. And, if you’re wondering what not to do in a video interview, enjoy this clip.
Don’t feel obligated to accept all interviews or second interviews
If you are not interested in accepting an interview or continuing on in the process, always inform the employer as soon as possible, thanking them for their time. On the other hand, continue on in the interview process if you want to learn more about an opportunity. If there are a number of aspects of the job that you like, continuing the process can help you make an informed decision.
Ask for more time to make a decision, you’re allowed
If you have reservations about an internship or job offer, or are actively interviewing with other companies, know that it is OK to contact an employer to see if you can be given more time to make a decision.
Red flag: Don’t apply for jobs once you have accepted an offer
If the employer sees that you are pursuing other opportunities after accepting his/her offer, you can risk your reputation and offer with that organization. If you have doubts about an offer, take more time to decide and weigh your options before accepting.
Consider the whole shebang
Evaluate all benefits including vacation time, retirement packages, tuition assistance and salary. Determine cost of living to help you make a decision about salary. Also, evaluate the type of work you will be doing, who your manager and co-workers will be and where the company is located.
Hot topic: To negotiate compensation packages, or not?
Lovin’ the compensation package that was just handed to you? Don’t feel obligated to negotiate the package with an employer. It is not necessary if you feel the employer is making you a fair offer based on your skills, experience and market value for the position.
Have more questions about the application, interview or job offer process? Get in touch with your career advisor! Career advisors can assist you during all steps of the internship and job search process. Find out which career advisor is working with your college by visiting the Career Center website.