We get it (and we’ve been there)! The search for an internship or job is tough. But it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. We’ve broken the search process down in 10 steps. If you spend just a little bit of time over 10 days of your break (or take a few steps a day to get ahead!), you will be in great shape to land a summer internship or your first job.

A strong resume is crucial as it gives potential employers a first impression, showcasing your skills, experiences, and academic achievements. It helps distinguish you from other candidates in competitive job markets, emphasizing the unique value you bring to the table. Spending just a few hours perfecting your base resume ensure you get the results you are seeking.

  1. Ensure you understand resume basics. Whether you already have a resume started or will start from scratch, reviewing this document will make sure you understand the purpose and intent of a resume.
  2. Review our resume guide for inspiration. Before you get started, take a look at these Denison specific resume samples.
  3. Utilize our Resume Style Guide Templates. These resume style guides will help you get started on a new resume or help you refresh your current resume in a format that is easy to read and ideal for college students.
  4. Perfect your resume with VMock. VMock is a resume review platform that uses AI to provide instant, personalized feedback on your resume based on criteria compiled from employers and Knowlton Center standards. VMock provides feedback for both format and content of your resume.

Cultivating a robust digital brand not only expands your networking and career opportunities but also elevates how your connections perceive your professionalism and potential. By enhancing your online visibility, you become more accessible to potential employers and contacts, showcasing your skills and achievements. A solid online presence not only makes you a standout candidate but also reinforces your reputation as a reliable and professional individual within your network.

  1. Set-up an effective email signature. This step will only take you 10 minutes or less but will elevate your digital brand immediately, leaving a lasting impression on recipients and making your key contact information easily accessible. The Denison signature creator makes it quick and easy and will walk you through each step to create a professional email signature like the one below.
  2. Create a strong LinkedIn Profile in 5 basic steps. Your LinkedIn profile is not just a resume; it’s a dynamic and comprehensive representation of your professional persona and an online portfolio that showcases your professional identity to the world. Network connections and potential employers will look at your LinkedIn, so make sure it tells the story you want it to.

When it comes to searching for an internship or a job, it’s essential to understand each phase of the search process so you can explore, apply, and interview for an incredible opportunity.

  1. Determine where you will search. It’s important to take a multifaceted approach when searching for internship and job opportunities. Check out this list of common search sites on Knowlton Connect. In addition, make sure you are in the right Career Communities so you will receive curated internship and job postings every Tuesday at 7pm in your inbox. If you spend a few minutes today setting up saved searches in each of these tools you will save yourself significant time and ensure the right opportunities are sent directly to you.
  2. Organize your search. Staying organized during the job and internship search is crucial. Job and internship searches can be time-consuming and require you to manage multiple tasks simultaneously, such as researching companies, customizing resumes and cover letters, filling out applications, and scheduling interviews. To help make it easy on you, we’ve created a job and internship application tracker, the link to make a copy for your own use.

Networking with alumni is a strategic approach to gaining industry insights, mentorship, job opportunities, and building a strong, supportive professional network that can significantly benefit your career trajectory.

  1. Learn about Ask a Denisonian and how to craft a strong question.
  2. Ask your Question in Ask a Denisonian. With more than 30,000 alumni, there’s always a Denisonian willing to offer advice or make connections. All you have to do is ask.

Today you have one thing to do – find a minimum of 3 positions of interest and APPLY! Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to get the first application out there. Set the bar low with 3 positions and clear it. That will give you the momentum and motivation you need to keep going. Here are a few tips for today and moving forward:

  1. Start somewhere specific: We often hear students say “I’ll go anywhere and do anything.” While that may seem helpful, it isn’t. You won’t know where to start. Begin by narrowing your search down to something very specific, for example “marketing related roles in Chicago.” You can expand your search into other industries and locations, but you first need to start somewhere.
  2. Create a Schedule: Set aside specific times each week dedicated to searching and applying for internships. A structured approach can make the task less daunting and more manageable.
  3. Reward Yourself: Set up a reward system for each step you complete. Whether it’s a small treat or a break to do something you enjoy, rewards can make the process more enjoyable.
  4. Seek Support and Advice: Talk to friends, family, or mentors about your internship search. They can offer support, advice, and maybe even referrals. Make an appointment to connect with a Career Coach in the Knowlton Center.

In an interview, you will inevitably hear the prompt “Tell me about yourself.” To set a great first impression you must be able to answer this question confidently. So today, your task is to prepare your response.

  1. Reflect on what you might say. Start by considering what you most want your audience to know about you. Review your resume, consider your experiences, and select key things to highlight. Think of this answer as the movie trailer to you! A movie trailer doesn’t give all the details about the movie; instead, it piques interest. Your job isn’t to walk through your entire resume, but to give the highlight reel of you, your accomplishments and what you can bring to the role.
  2. Write out your answer and practice it. Aim to stay at or under two minutes for your response. Don’t memorize it as you still want to sound natural, but practice enough to be comfortable and confident! A good “formula” to use is

    Express appreciation: Thank your interviewer for the opportunity
    Present: Talk about who you are, what you are currently doing and what you are involved in
    Past: Talk about how you got there and/or mention experiences that are relevant to the position
    Future: Move into what you are looking to do next and why this position is of interest
    Express appreciation again: End with some additional appreciation. This will help you stop talking so you don’t ramble.

The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) Career Competencies are a set of key skills and attributes identified as crucial for entering the workforce. They serve as a framework for students and educators to understand and develop the essential skills for career readiness and success in a dynamic, global job market.

  1. Review the NACE Career Ready Competencies
  2. Utilize this worksheet to brainstorm how you’ve demonstrated each competency

The START method (Situation, Task, Action, Result, Tie-Back/Takeaway) in interviewing is beneficial because it provides a clear and structured way for you to convey your experiences and skills in a compelling, concise manner. B focusing on specific situations and tasks, detailing the actions taken, highlighting the results achieved, and tying it back to the role or sharing your takeaways, allows you to effectively showcase your problem-solving and decision-making abilities. This method not only helps you present your experiences in a memorable and impactful way but also enables interviewers to better assess your competencies and suitability for the role.

  1. Practice the START Method of Interviewing: Use this worksheet to brainstorm and write out stories you can tell during an interview using the START method, based on the Career Ready Competencies.
  2. Practice Interviewing: Check out Google Warmup for a quick way to prepare for your next interview. Practice key questions, get insights about your answers, and get more comfortable interviewing.

Continual learning is vital for professional development as it ensures individuals keep up with the ever-evolving industry trends, technologies, and methodologies, maintaining their relevance and competitiveness in the job market.

  1. Take a LinkedIN Learning Course: All Denison users can access thousands of courses and collections to learn various skills. Upon completion you can opt into adding the course to your LinkedIn profile.
  2. Check out Denison Edge and register for an upcoming event: Denison Edge provides programs and training for in-demand skills that make you career-ready.

While the job and internship application process can be challenging and time-consuming, requiring persistence and resilience, it is a crucial step in building a foundation for your future career. Use the five steps below to build your plan to keep going.

  1. Set small goals you can achieve: Research has shown that you are 2x to 3x more likely to stick to your goals if you make a specific plan for when, where, and how you will perform the behavior. 
  2. Add in accountability: How will you ensure you stay accountable to reaching your goals? Consider setting up an appointment with a coach.
  3. Use the resources you have: Knowlton Connect – remember resources are available to you at all times on knowltonconnct.denison.edu
  4. Keep going: Finding an internship or job takes time, focus and commitment. Don’t be afraid to ask for support and take breaks when you need to.