Saturday, June 26, 2010

Assorted Advice & Fall 2010 Intern Resources

Today seems like a good spot for a grab-bag of internship- and job-search advice we need to get out of our system.

Fall 2010 Internships

We are approaching high-season to apply for Fall internships; we regularly see July deadlines noted in many cases – and this would also be the right time to apply to organizations that don’t list specific application deadlines.

We will not be providing a comprehensive rundown of Fall intern opportunities – but you can use our Summer intern specials, as well as selected special-edition pages as a resource to hunt for companies/organizations with Fall 2010 intern opportunities in the DC area:
You might also find a few additional relevant opportunities/organizations via some of our earlier specialized/focused sections:
We highly recommend the Spotted: DC Summer Interns blog for entertainment & educational (mostly of the what-not-to-do sort) purposes.

Out-of-town job search/moving to DC area

We occasionally get job-search questions (and we enjoy them – so bring it on) – the most frequent of which is something along the lines of:

I don’t live in the DC area – any advice on improving my odds, or do I just have to take a leap of faith and move here first?

A: you can improve your odds by networking via alumni groups/state societies in the DC area (also via LinkedIn/facebook) – in fact, that very question is a good one to ask in forums like those. However, in most cases, you’ll probably just have to take the leap of faith and come to DC and go from there – in which case, our search firm directory might help you find some temping/admin opportunities to pay the rent while you angle for the job you really want.

The second-most popular query we get: Where should I live when I come to town? Our main suggestions are close-in, metro-accessible, and short-term (until you really figure out where you want to live after you’ve been here awhile). We also suggest moving to town with the minimum amount of possessions/furniture/stuff you can get by with at first.

Random Advice

A super-sharp HR person recently told us about one of her major annoyances – meeting with job seekers who do not have a clear sense of what they would like to do for her organization. Don’t go into an interview for a particular job – or for an informational/getting-to-know-you interview – expecting the HR person to look at your resume/background and figure out how you fit into their organization’s needs. You are there to sell yourself on what you can (and would like to) accomplish for a potential employer. Obviously, you can make it clear that you are also flexible and adaptable to whatever else an HR pro suggests – but the onus is on you to demonstrate what you can do for them.

We’ve heard this nugget from several sources, but the smart people at RH Strategic put it best: ALWAYS submit your resume in PDF. That gives you the control over the formatting and prevents us from seeing Microsoft Word’s helpful corrections to your spelling, tense, and grammarthey provide some more related advice here.

Staffing Advisors’ blog – Search Firm Insider – is another fine resource for job-seekers – and their employer-oriented blog is also good read for some perspective from the other side of the interview table.

Email addresses – this from another HR pro: for the dozens of responses she receives by email for any given position, she deletes the ones from non-serious/non-professional-sounding email addresses without opening them. So lose the or your in favor of some variant of your name for job-searching purposes.

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