By Lauren Lewow, Trevett Chair
Oftentimes new grads and college students feel lost as they set out on the path of their first professional job hunt. Here are a few tips that will help you win mentors and friends, even if you don’t clinch the job.
Submitting your resume
It’s easy to fall into the trap of sending your resume and then feeling lots of anxiety. If you sent your email directly to an individual, you’ve got to remember they’re human. We quickly forget that they’re likely juggling multiple projects and reviewing resumes for an open position. It’s best to follow up if you’re really interested in the position. Sending a friendly email every 7-10 days gives the recruiter breathing room, while still showing your interest.
Either way, be sure to proof your text and then proof it again. Even have someone else look over it. You’re looking for grammar, spelling and even formatting mistakes. In PR, your writing must be polished; your ability to express concepts and frame issues is the product clients pay for. If you email a prospective supervisor with errors, they’ll only assume the worst of you.
After the interview
Within a day of your interview, you should send a thank you note. I know this may sound old-fashioned, but do it anyways! Feel free to send an email, or go the extra mile with a hand written note (check out our infographic for more on this). Be sure to add in a few details from your interview to show them that you were listening and interested.
If you don’t clinch the role
Ask where you went wrong. Not many of us like to hear about our weaknesses, but they are critical to our development. Asking where you could improve or what skills you are lacking will help you refine which roles fit you best and how you can obtain them. Asking these tough questions also shows your commitment to your professional development.
Take this one step further and ask the interviewer to coffee or lunch, especially if you feel like you got along very well. Having a mentor who can share insight about the industry is invaluable.
Always be polite and follow up consistently. You’ll build your network and gain insight along the way.