Are you wondering how to kick off your job search? I’ll give you the good news first. Most summer positions are probably still open. The bad news? Plenty of students and graduated interns have been laying the foundation to apply for months.
This job market is depressing enough, so there’s no need to keep a negative tone. But there is a motivating purpose for this post. Students are responding to challenging times with more innovative approaches to networking. Online portfolios, blogs, Twitter accounts, informational interviews, meetings for coffee, agency tours, speaker invitations—these are all options available to students that I have seen throughout the course of the year. And they work. I will definitely remember someone I have been in touch with over time instead of a job seeker’s last-minute outreach in the spring.
Although I’m not part of our HR team at Ketchum, I do work closely with our coordinator and she can attest that the résumés and recommendations have been flowing from my inbox already. References from inside the organization tend to be much more successful than candidates applying blindly. So get out there!
Looking and networking for jobs all year sounds pretty daunting, doesn’t it? It would be if these were all strangers that you’re pacing to keep up with. But I consider most of my network friends, and I hope that many of the people I have helped along consider me the same. Understand that there is a professional nature to our friendship, but it makes me want to keep in touch all the same.
As a student two years ago, I was a firm believer that I should never be meeting a company for the first time when applying. Now is the perfect time to start making connections at the companies you want to be a part of. Hopefully people are willing to spend a half hour over coffee, and then some time for follow-up.
Now for the really good news. If you’re reading Culpwrit, commenting and taking an active approach to your career—you’re still ahead of the curve. Competition will be tough for entry level positions, but they still exist and the demand for young, cheap talent may be higher than ever. Someone out there is just waiting to discover you.
Kevin Saghy is an assistant account executive with Ketchum and has a passion for helping students from his days as a PRSSA leader. E-mail him if you’re in