As my other members of the cohort have mentioned, we are nearing the end of our internships and job applications are on our minds. I am very lucky to have David Ewald, CD of Uncorked Studios, as a mentor during this transition from student to professional life. On a day off from work last week, I met up with Dave for coffee to get advice about applying for jobs. As a class this term, we have visited several agencies with different departments that all interest me. Most of these companies expressed that moving around departments isn’t really something people do, which really scared me. I have a wide variety of interests and skills and I would love to be able to use all of them rather than just picking one to fit into a particular job description. And then the question is which bubble to fill in or which skill to pursue?
During the conversation, we decided how I should to market myself so that all my skills can be used in the position I’m applying for.
As I’ve started to apply for jobs, here are the points I make sure to touch on in my cover letter:
- I still have a lot to learn: A lot of recent graduates make the mistake of thinking that their degree says they know all they need to know to land a job. The truth is, what we learn in school is very different from how things actually happen professionally. Even so, one is never done learning and employers want to know that you acknowledge that.
- I am eager to learn, and to learn from your company in particular: Express that you have done research on this firm and know their employees as well as the firm’s strengths. Show that you want to learn alongside experts in their field.
- I am know to push beyond what is expected of me: I have shown in the past, both in school and in internships my determination, speed and desire to complete tasks. This shows that I am willing to take the extra step, especially if I’m making up for what I don’t know yet.
- I know what I want to be: I know where all my skills collide into one cohesive position and I am certain that’s what I want to do. This will give the company trust in your skills because you are confident in them.
- Even if this doesn’t work out, is there another place I might fit: Express that you know the particular position you are applying for might not match up to your resume exactly. State that your hopes and desires don’t stop with this particular job posting, that you would be happy starting out part-time or as an intern.
When applying for jobs, know how to convey your confidence in your skills and your desire to continue learning and growing after college.