Whether looking for a job after graduation or a summer internship, you can position yourself to stand out from other candidates with a few simple strategies.
Build your network
Research shows that 70% to 85% of jobs come through networking. Networking is a way to build professional relationships. You can find people to network with through family, friends, peers, professors, career fairs and employer events. Connect with CU Boulder alumni using the Forever Buffs Network or LinkedIn.
When you apply for a job or internship, you can ask people in your network who work for the organization or within the industry to recommend you or act as a reference. The connection may help move your application forward.
Schedule informational interviews
You can use your professional network to learn about an industry or organization. Career Services offers resources on informational interviewing. During informational interviews, you can meet with professionals to ask questions and deepen your understanding of a specific job function or organization.
Ask detailed questions like, what skills does your organization value, or what is a key element of the company culture? Be prepared to share information about yourself, including the value you can offer and the type of opportunities you want to pursue.
These meetings can enhance your network and demonstrate initiative to potential employers.
Do your research
Research the companies you are interested in by networking, exploring their company website, reviewing their LinkedIn, Handshake and social media profiles and reading articles or other media about the company.
Review the company’s mission, vision and values to understand how you might fit in with that company and the value you would bring. Customize your application materials to align with the company’s culture and mission.
Hiring managers value candidates who demonstrate they understand the organization and the specific job position.
Be prepared for interviews
Do mock interviews using Interview Prep. The online tool allows you to practice with pre-made or customized mock interviews. During the practice interviews, offer specific answers based on your experience and skills. Interview Prep will record your mock interview so you can review it and make improvements.
Utilize the other interviewing resources offered by Career Services. You can make an appointment with a career advisor for a mock interview to help you be well-prepared. Tie your responses to the position and company, reiterating the value you can bring that matches their needs.
Interview practice builds confidence so you feel more comfortable during the interview. Then, your experience, value and personality can shine.
Set yourself up for success
Putting in the extra effort will make you stand out in the job and internship search process. Career Services connects students to the resources needed to build skills, prepare for interviews, develop a network and ultimately succeed in the job and internship search.