So, you want a job or an internship, eh? Well, it’s time to get your resume and cover letter together, and there are a few basic things to keep in mind. What follows is advice based on my experience on Capitol Hill, interviewing over 400 development agencies and NGOs, and working on graduate admissions committees. Nothing is ever set in stone, but some rules are definitely better than others…
Why yes, yes there is something else. It’s the Internet, my friends. Take note: prospective employers will get online to look for your name on Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, and any other engine they may frequent. Where will they find you? What will they find? Make sure it’s safe. Make sure it’s something you want them to see. Take down those Spring Break photos. Take down the crazy costume party pix — just for now, just while you’re on the job market. Trust me, it’s worth it.
If you have the time or resources, it is also worthwhile to put up a professional-looking website of your own, even if it’s only one page. It should include:
– a photograph, with your face prominent, and preferably no one else’s face at all
– a short synopsis of who you are, where you study/work, and your objective or the job you’re seeking
– links to a .pdf of your resume, and possibly to photos of you working with other groups or in other locations
– your email address
If your name is “John Smith,” this site will be particularly helpful to you, because people can search for your name and school and find you, rather than the guy who is regularly in home movies about beating small children. A friend of mine has a semi-rare name, but he shares it with a man who was thrice convicted of driving while intoxicated, breeds rare beetles, and rides tractors in the woods with squirrels.
Do you want employers to search for your name and find him, or find you?