7 answers

I've applied to 19 (remote) internships and part-times, have gotten close to getting 84% of them and still being rejected. I don't feel bad, I know there are a lot of good, qualified applicants out there. I just want to get an idea of what else I could do now that I don't have any classes. I don't want to be unproductive.

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7 answers

Maggie’s Answer

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Continue to apply! Don't get discouraged. The mere act of applying is good practice. With the extra time I also recommend the following:

- Workshop your resume and cover letter with trusted friends, family, and teachers. They will help you to tweak things in your presentation that may help your application stand out and put you in the best light. Update your linkedin/social media to reflect the image you want, or make private.

- Develop new skills where you feel your resume may be lacking. Depending on the types of jobs you are applying for, you may want to invest in online courses for Quickbooks, Coding (codeacadamy.com is great), Microsoft products, photoshop, etc. Once you take any of these courses you can reference them in your resume/CV. In addition to having the skill, it will also show that you take initiative (which is something employers look for)

- If you are able to enroll in a mentorship program. This will help to extend your reach and professional network.

- Create something. Find a creative outlet to express yourself: make a video, learn how to edit, scrapbook, teach yourself something new. It will keep you busy and also help you develop problem solving skills. You can also talk about this in your interview(s) which will surely happen.

- Be patient. Employers are receiving a lot of applications right now and it may take several weeks for them to process them. If you hear nothing after 2 weeks, don't be shy about politely emailing them to check in on whether they have any updates on the position.

Maggie recommends the following next steps:

  • Workshop your resume and cover letter with trusted friends, family, and teachers.
  • Develop skills you feel may strengthen your resume
  • Research mentoring programs. This may extend your professional network
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Kelsi’s Answer

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First of all - been there. And it's tough, so kudos to you for not letting it get to you and forging ahead!
I think all of the advice above is fantastic. One thing I do want to also mention is that right now, in a Pandemic, there are very limited job opportunities and it is extremely competitive. So please remember that you might be competing against extremely or overly qualified individuals, and it may be completely out of your control.

However, there are definitely things you could be doing in the interim:

Volunteer Opportunities: Research volunteer opportunities in your area of interest. A lot of these have moved online, and others would gladly accept help with other areas of the business. It allows you to keep using your skills during this difficult time period.

Free/Paid Online Courses: The websites Coursera and edeX allow you to audit courses from top universities for free. See the link below for a list of online courses from top universities: https://www.businessinsider.com/free-online-courses-from-best-colleges#6-tie-stanford-university-6
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Vikash Raja Samuel’s Answer

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Hi Kaela, I know that feeling. I too applied for over a 1000 jobs out of college and I got neither a call nor an offer from any application that I put out, instead I got a full time job through a recruiter who found me on LinkedIn.
The same story repeats for my internships, my 1st internship was courtesy of me finishing in top 3 in my class, 2nd and 3rd internship interviews courtesy of a referrals from friends.
Since the time I finished a year in a Full Time job I get many requests every week to come work for the most exciting companies. So there is a lesson in all this:
1. LinkedIn and Referrals are your friends - They were the 2 best resources that helped me and a lot of other folks land interviews
2. Once you gain experience in a full time job you go from being unquantified to certified and from that point on you are much more markettable
3. Whatever you do, do to the best of your ability.

W.r.t to what you could do, MOOCs are probably my favorites. Learning something never goes to waste. Skill up in your field of study and get a portfolio of your side projects, they are the next best thing to an actual job experience. Wish you luck in your endeavours.
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Christine’s Answer

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Hi Kaela,

It's so easy to get discouraged when you're fresh out of school and looking for your dream job. Don't let the numbers get you down; instead, embrace them. Keep a spreadsheet with the details of the jobs you are applying for and what skills they were looking for. Analyse any gaps you may have in your own skill set and use the internet to develop these skills on free sites. Tech is the future so developing tech skills will only improve your chances going forward.

You can also look for patterns in your applications that maybe you wouldn't have noticed otherwise, perhaps most of them are in just 1-2 sectors and you should branch out. Or maybe they've all been in a specific geographical area that is very popular for applicants.

It would help to pinpoint other sectors, skill sets, and geographical areas you may not be applying in but would be open to working in. Do lots of research and ask lots of questions here :)

You can also spend your time volunteering (even virtually), so prospective employers can see you are someone that is pro-active and is using their time wisely.

Best of luck!

Christine recommends the following next steps:

  • Keep track of your applications
  • Analyse your progress
  • Volunteer and learn new skills
Thank you so much. I have been keeping track of my applications but I never thought about cross-referencing job requirements and preferences in that way. I'll definitely be doing this in the future. Thank you again. Kaela S.
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Sara’s Answer

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Hi Kaela, sometimes this just happens to people with strong resumes and work experience. My best advise is to write follow up emails to those you have interviewed with and ask for feed back, and what you can do next time to become a stronger applicant. I've done this before and have gotten a better insight on how I come across in interviews etc.

Going forward try to connect and network with young people who are currently working at the places you are applying. Reach out saying you'd love to learn more about what they do, and that you are thinking of applying for an internship, what do you think I can do to make my resume stronger and help me stand out. People LOVE giving advise and talking about themselves.

Depending on your line of work, if you are in media, you can always create content with your phone and post on your online portfolio. Another way is to volunteer with organizations that relate to the field of work you hope to be apart of. If volunteering isn't an option, there are plenty of free online course you can take, gain a new skill set that can help you in the career you want. You can also take this step further with getting an online certification through a university. NYU has an online program for post grads/ non - enrolled students called NYU Certificate Programs.

Basically at the end of this time of social distancing you want to be able to tell an employer I took initiative and did X, Y and Z.

Sara recommends the following next steps:

  • Follow-up and request feedback from jobs you didn't get
  • Network with current employers of the places you are applying (they can help you be fully prepared for interviews)
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Blake’s Answer

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Hey Kaela,

Keep applying! I have made it through many internship interview processes and not get the job. That does not mean you aren't "good" at all. If anything, getting close to 84% of them means that you were seriously considered for 84% of them, so great work! There are a lot of great internships out there, but it might be that you haven't applied to the company that is the right fit. You will be able to find an internship, just hang in there!

Thanks,
Blake
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Doris’s Answer

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Hi Kaela,

There are several ways to stay productive during this COVID-19 era. See out some non-profit volunteer opportunities while be safe and healthy. While volunteering start networking and let the other volunteers know that you are available and exactly what type of work you are looking for (internships that led to full time employment or Co-op positions).

Basically, make the best of your time now while you can move around freely and take advantage of all the options open to you.



Doris recommends the following next steps:

  • Seek out a mentor from a previous professor or your social groups that have the same background
  • Ask your past prfessors to review your resume
  • Have Friends and Family do Mock-Interviews with you.
  • HCC - Hudson Community College has summer classes that cover resume writing and interviewing skills if you prefer more formal avenues
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