How To Stay Confident When Applying To Jobs & Internships

How To Stay Confident During A Job Search

I know we all have that dream company or dream companies that we can see ourselves commuting to and from every single day for the rest of our lives, so applying to these places is extra nerve wracking since we all want to make sure our applications are perfect. And, it can even be easy to feel like you aren’t good enough for the role, or feel like you’re competing against a lot of other people who are just as qualified as you are, or more.

Those feelings can really get to us and cause nervousness that can really set us back—have you ever been so nervous to do something that you ended up making a mistake because of all the feels? That’s what I’m talking about. I’ve been in the process of looking into positions for both the spring semester and after I graduate for a few months now, and with the amount of time and effort it takes to look for things and apply, you honestly can’t afford the energy to be nervous about getting a response, or stress too much over an interview!

So I decided to share a few things that I do to keep my chin up during the whole process. Whether you’re a senior about to graduate and you’re looking for a position, or a freshman who isn’t looking for anything at the moment, these are some tips you can keep in your back pocket.

1. Research the company thoroughly. 

Knowledge is power, after all. The more you know about the company before your phone interview or in-person interview, the more confident you’ll feel in tackling any company-culture-type questions that come your way. It can even be something you do on the commute over to your interview to keep yourself busy and prepare at the same time. In your research, be sure to look for a recent company project that you can reference in your interview if needed. In my post on How To Have A Successful Phone Interview, I give more tips just like these, so be sure to check it out!

2. Really put effort into every application. 

Don’t b.s. anything, even if you think you’re a shoo-in for the position. Tailor your cover letter (and even your resume when necessary) to each position. I have both editorial and social media marketing experience, but in the past when I’d apply for social media positions, I’d send in a resume that was really mostly about my editorial experience. So it’s a no wonder why I never got any social media positions! If it means you have to create five different versions of your resume, it’s definitely worth doing if you really want the position.

Read also: 6 Terrible Cover Letter Mistakes To Stop Making

3. Practice interviewing. 

If you’ve never interviewed for a position before, it’s worth it to grab a friend and practice, or hit up your school’s career center for a mock interview. Practice makes perfect, and you can receive feedback on what you should emphasize more, and other helpful tips specifically about your performance.

4. Dress to impress (yourself). 

I always feel good when I look good, so I take interviews as an opportunity to dress up all nice and professional, and maybe even pose for a photo or two. If it helps, buy a new outfit just for your interview so you get really excited to wear it. I have a post on How To Dress Professionally On A College Budget in case you’re wondering how you can save on costly clothing.

5. Go in with a positive attitude. 

On the day of your interview, go the extra mile to make sure you don’t lose your temper over anything. It can really sour your mood and affect your confidence if you’re upset. Sometimes it’s the little things that really grind our gears, but it’s also the little things that can make us smile. If things aren’t going right, shrug it off and treat yourself to some coffee, or find a way to improvise instead of wasting energy being upset. Nothing good will come of crying or screaming, and you’ll only feel worse. Make sure you do what it takes to walk into that office feeling good and happy to be there.

Read also: 6 Ways To Maintain A Positive Attitude

6. Get yourself a job search buddy. 

You don’t have to go through the job search alone. Having a buddy (or a group of buddies) can help make the process more fun because you’ll be able to hype each other up and help each other out. Plus, they’ll be a shoulder to lean on when you’re stressed and just need someone to comfort you for a bit.

7. Don’t get discouraged if things don’t work out. 

I firmly believe that things always happen for a reason. Maybe you didn’t get that one internship because there’s a better opportunity waiting for you. Or maybe that rejection will help you realize something game-changing that you didn’t realize before (I don’t know what that could be, but if I ever find out I’ll let you know). The point is, don’t dwell on your losses. Thank the recruiter for their time, ask them to keep you in mind for any future positions, and move on. This coming from the girl who has trouble letting go of movie tickets I bought almost four years ago, so that means this point is pretty important. Learn to let go of a position if you’ve been rejected so you can bounce back more ready than ever for the next one. Think of it this way: at least now you’ve made a new connection in your job hunt.

8. Be kind to those who are in the same position as you.

Help your classmates and friends if they feel like they’re struggling! If someone reaches out to you for advice or pointers, or just to look over their resume, try to welcome the moment and give them a hand. I know they’re technically your competition because you’re both applying for the same jobs, but you’re going to get the position because you’re qualified and present yourself well at an interview, not because you lessened the competition by one freakin’ person. 

I’m extra passionate about this point because I see too many people who are unwilling to lend a helping hand to their colleagues because they want to be the best applicant and they’re afraid that giving a little help will hurt their chances of getting the job. It’s truly upsetting! Help your peers out in any way that you can. If you come across a job that you know your colleague would be interested in, send them the link in case they didn’t see it themselves! If someone asks you to give them feedback on their resume, be as constructive as you can. You’d want someone to do the same for you if the roles were reversed. Kindness goes farther than competition.

How do you remain confident during the job/internship hunt? Do you have a memorable job or internship experience? Share below! 

10 More Tips For Getting A Summer Internship

The internship hunt can be a bit time consuming and often stressful — I’d know because I recently got out of that hunt alive! This was actually the first time I applied for summer internships, so there was definitely some trial and error in certain places. At the same time, I emerged victorious and excited to share with you all how I landed my position. I picked up so many tips during my experience, that one blog post wasn’t enough! Be sure to check out part one of my tips for getting a summer internship so that you’re all caught up, and that being said, let’s get into part two!

  1. During, an interview, try to give all your experiences a bit of attention. Earlier in my internship hunt, during interviews I’d often just discuss one piece of experience that I had listed on my resume (my position as an editor). I thought that this was my strongest asset because I developed skills as a leader, manager, writer, editor, and it took a lot of planning and strategy. It was great that I could talk about how much one position taught me, but what about the other positions on my resume? From what I’ve experienced, showing your interviewer that you were able to take away something from all the experiences you listed is a really good way to show that you’ve grown from every experience you had. I feel like interviewers think of this as you adequately absorbing what took place, and really making the most of your positions. Besides, they’d probably want you to make the most of a position at their company. 
  2. Demonstrate a unique understanding of a concept or idea. Show the interviewer that your experiences have shaped your thinking in a unique way. They can find many likeminded applicants who might approach a situation the same exact way, but try to show them that you have a different understanding that also works. Remember when you were in the first grade and kids made fun of each other for being even a little different? Well now you’re all grown up and being a little different is actually a good thing. 
  3. Don’t be repetitive. The interviewer doesn’t need to know five times that you’re an organized individual who is experienced with team management. I’m pretty sure that you have so much more to say about your abilities, so take your time to elaborate without repeating the same set of skills over and over again. 
  4. Use any opportunity to discuss what makes you qualified. This actually happened to me during an interview. The interviewer had finished asking me questions and was explaining a few things about the position. I took that opportunity to further elaborate on why I would be able to handle those specific tasks. Those were not interview questions, however, I wasn’t done making an impression. Saying ‘okay,’ isn’t always enough, and it never hurts you to endorse your abilities just a little bit more. That being said, really use your face time or phone time with your interviewer wisely and to your advantage. 
  5. Ask questions. This is actually how I was able to take the above stated opportunity to talk more about my qualifications. At the end of an interview, you’re typically asked if you have any questions for your interviewer. This is probably the one question that shouldn’t come as a surprise to you, so make sure you have at least one question to ask. In my opinion, it shows that you took the time to fully understand what you could about the company and the position before sitting down to be interviewed, and you’d like to take the extra step to learn more. Plus, like I said, you might be able to get the opportunity to further showcase your abilities by doing this. 
  6. Leave your business card if it’s an in-person interview. After I applied to the internship I eventually received, I was contacted for a phone interview, then I took an edit test, and lastly I had an in-person interview. Now, I had business cards in a nice business card-holder in my purse, but guess what I forgot to do…I was kicking myself up and down for that because business cards are definitely really professional, and a nice, neat way of telling an employer how you can be reached and what your work has been like so far. This looks extremely professional (especially for a college student like me) and it’s definitely something that makes an employer go, ‘wow.’ Leave your business card whenever possible, and if you don’t have one yet, I highly recommend getting some printed. 
  7. Be polite! Okay, don’t get so caught up in the craziness and stresses of internship hunting that you forget your manners at home. Always thank the interviewer for making time to speak with you. It’s definitely a small statement that is really appreciated because they’re probably way busier than you are and have a hundred things planned out for the rest of the day. You don’t want them to remember you as the rude candidate who doesn’t know how to say, ‘thank you.’ 
  8. If you haven’t heard anything, follow up. I typically follow up with a company one week after my last interaction with them. Following up lets them know that you’re serious about the position because you took it upon yourself to check in with your progress. Keep in mind that even after you follow up, companies don’t always reply to you. It’s not what you want, but remember that it’s okay because you did all that you could do. 
  9. Reply to emails promptly. No matter what point you’re at in the application process, reply to the company’s emails in a timely manner. Try not to just see it in your inbox and put a star next to it for later, unless you absolutely must do that because of circumstances. I have actually interviewed many people for positions on the staff I manage in college, and I can’t help but feel that the applicant is a bit disconnected when he or she takes many days to reply to a message. This can come off as a red flag to an interviewer. 
  10. Don’t quit after two or three failed attempts. Yeah, I know rejection hurts and it sucks, and when you feel you have so much to offer, getting rejected can really hit you hard, but you can’t just decide that you’ve given it your all and give up. I applied for a position at eight different platforms before being hired. To be honest, eight attempts isn’t a lot; some people apply to 20 positions before getting something, so don’t view rejection as ultimate. 

And that concludes my entire guide to landing a summer internship! I know I’ve talked about a lot, so if you have any questions you’d like to ask me, or if you also have some input you can leave me a comment below or email me at heyimjasmin@gmail.com. I’d love to hear from you guys! That being said, good luck with your hunt, and if you aren’t looking for an internship just yet, I hope to see you back here when you are.

Happy hunting! 

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