Published: Jan. 12, 2023
photo of student at a career fair

You can set yourself apart from the competition when looking for a job or internship. Career Services connects students to tools and resources that enhance the job search process for improved outcomes. Here are some steps to help you stand out as a strong candidate in a competitive job market.

Tailor resumes and cover letters

Tailor your resume and cover letter for each application to match the job description. To save time, create a template resume and cover letter that includes all your experience, skills and accomplishments. These core documents will serve as your starting points as you tailor your experience and examples for each application.

As you update your resume for different applications, use the AI resume editor by Quinncia to get feedback and make improvements. This free online resume review tool leverages data science, machine learning and natural language processing to provide personalized feedback on your resume.

Attend weekly programs for more tips on resume and cover letter writing.

Optimize your online profiles

Complete your LinkedIn, Handshake and Forever Buffs Network profiles and make them public to attract recruiters.

Follow these steps to set up your Handshake profile for employers to reach out to you directly. Review these tips for optimizing your LinkedIn profile. For consistency, connect your LinkedIn profile to your Forever Buffs Network profile.

In addition to completing your profiles, there are other ways to expand your online presence and get noticed by recruiters:

  • Highlight your accomplishments, interests and the qualities that set you apart from others.
  • Join social media groups that are relevant to your career interests.
  • Share articles that reflect your interests, passions and career goals.

Practice for interviews

When you interview with a potential employer, you’ll want to feel confident and ready. Regular practice can help you develop your interviewing skills. Then, you’ll feel more comfortable answering questions.

Interview Prep is a digital tool to help you practice and evaluate your interviewing skills virtually. You record yourself answering select questions. You can then watch the recording to review your answers and body language to evaluate areas for improvement.

With some job interviews still taking place virtually, Interview Prep is a valuable resource to help you develop your skills. Ask a friend, family member or career advisor to help you practice for an in-person interview. They can use a list of commonly asked interview questions to conduct a mock interview with you, and you can practice your answers out loud. Learn more about how to prepare for interviews.

Continue to develop skills


Using your time to learn new things and develop skills can give you an edge over other candidates. Check out the MySkills program in Career Services to learn more about creating new professional skills. This self-paced program allows you to identify the skills you already have, learn about new skills to develop and find opportunities on campus to build skills. You’ll also learn how to discuss your skills at every job search stage. Attend a workshop to get more insight.

For more tips to help with your job or internship search, check out the fairs and events offered by Career Services. These free workshops will share best practices for resumes, networking and more.