All posts by Jacki St. Thomas

Internship Hunting How-To From Smarterer Intern, Jacki St. Thomas

Harder than the hunt for the perfect holiday gift is the hunt for spring and summer internships. You’ve got your resume ready and you’re on the lookout, but don’t know where to start. Here are a few of my favorite tips on how to find an amazing internship to add to your credentials:

Job Listings

The obvious starting place is to head to the online job listings. These listings can be found in a variety of places, including Internships.com, Monster College, and LinkedIn. Although this is an easy way to see internship listings in your area, it will not give you a great sense of the posting company. Pair your search with some detective work on the company’s website or a third party resource like Glassdoor or InternshipRatings to make sure it’s the right fit for you.

Campus Resources

Don’t overlook your own back yard when looking for an internship. Check out school compiled databases. Many colleges and universities keep track of their alumni who are offering internship positions and post them on a forum specifically for their students. By finding an internship through your school, you walk in with a shared background with your employer, which is a big help in getting your foot in the door.

Internships

Career Fairs

Touch up your resumes and pull on that blazer, because the next place to find an internship is a career fair. This is probably one of the easier ways to find an internship, because the companies in search of talented young minds are coming to you.  However, this doesn’t mean you can sit back and wait to be discovered. Research the companies attending the fair and pick out your favorites ahead of time. This will help you be calm, collected, and informed when approaching them at the actual fair. You may also want to customize your resume for each company, pulling out the best bits of experience to showcasing your talent to their specific needs.

Speakers and Events

One of the lesser-known ways to land an internship is by attending school events. Guest speakers are a great way to learn about a company and what  they are looking for in a potential candidate. Most of the time, the speaker will announce if the company is looking for interns, but feel free to be follow-up and inquire about opportunities afterwards. Show initiative and introduce yourself to the speaker after their presentation. Even if they aren’t currently looking, your expressed interest may get noted for a future position.

Make Your Own!

Did you know that if an internship position at a company does not exist in the department you want, you can propose your own? Although this doesn’t always work, companies are usually willing to receive extra help, as long as it is at no cost to them. If you see an area where you feel your skills can be utilized, contact them and offer your services. Validate your skills by including your Smarterer badges so that your hoped employer knows you’re fit for the gig. In the long run, a valuable experience where you can put your skills to work far outweighs not getting paid.

What other ways have you found your internship? What resources have you found most helpful? Share your tips and tricks in the comments, we’d love to hear from you!

Catch up with Jacki on Twitter at @JackiStThomas

5 Crucial Resume Details To Never Forget

You have the most awesome resume on the planet complete with amazing work experience, a beautiful skills and interests section, and of course your Smarterer scores, but before you hit send, double check the small details that if missed could send your resume spiraling towards the trash bin. These are the five most crucial resume tips that we’ve promised ourselves to never, ever forget.

1. Custom Tailor

Different companies are looking for different things in a job candidate, even if the positions you’re applying for have the same title. By tailoring your resume to fit the company culture and job description details, you are able to share the most relevant information in a way that proves you are an ideal candidate. Remember to highlight job-specific skills you learned, related projects you worked on and relevant industries you were involved with. Some job seekers not only tailor their resumes, but keep different versions on hand for specific job descriptions.

Writing a Resume

2. Be Consistent

Your resume should be consistent in both formatting and content. You may have phenomenal work experience, but if your resume is jumbled no one will look past the third line. By keeping the information organized and relevant, you increase your chances of landing an interview.

3. Keep it Simple

Just because you can spice up the page by using cool fonts doesn’t mean you should. Fancy fonts can be distracting and often unreadable, negating all the hard work you put into your resume. It is best to stick with basic, clear fonts that are classic and professional. However, don’t let this limit you. Emphasize your information by spacing, underlining italicizing, and bolding information.

4. Limit the Length

Although your list of skills is never-ending, you should try to limit your resume to one page if possible. Think of it as a greatest hits of your work experience. No one wants to read through a four-page resume. Making your resume as concise as possible saves the interviewer time and helps get your foot in the door for an interview where you can divulge the details.

5. Send as a PDF

Smartphones are used for everything these days, including reading over resumes. When sending your resume over the Internet or through email, make sure you attach it as a PDF file. This makes your resume readable on mobile devices and you don’t have to worry about compatibility issues. By using a PDF instead of a word attachment, you make it easier on the interviewer and increase the chances of your resume being looked at more than once.

Smarterer on Campus at BU, NEU and Emerson

College GraduationThis month, Smarterer is teaming up with students from Boston University, Emerson College and Northeastern University to bring our tests to Boston campuses. With the help of our Campus Ambassadors, we’ve launched challenges for students that are customized for each campus and will determine who has what it takes to rule their school.

Are you cool enough to rule Emerson’s Boylston Street campus, savvy enough to be named top Terrier at BU or the biggest Husky fan at Northeastern? Take the tests, add more questions, share your scores and compete with friends to grab the top spot on the leaderboard. The students with the highest scores by November 4th will take home a $50 Visa gift card!

Show us your stuff!

The Boston University Challenge!

The Northeastern University Challenge!

The Emerson Challenge!

BREW + Smarterer: The Entrepreneur Challenge

In honor of the 2nd annual Boston Region Entrepreneurship Week (BREW), Smaterer has teamed up with BREW organizers and partners to create the Entrepreneur Challenge – a Smarterer test geared to gauge your startup smarts and entrepreneurial aptitude. From lean development to product management, term sheets to team building, it’s time to put your skills to the test. Get started!

Boston Region Entrepreneurship Week

BREW is a series of events hosted by the actual community that provides resources and infrastructure to entrepreneurs of Greater Boston and the surrounding communities. BREW offers a unique opportunity to get a taste of what it means to be an entrepreneur in the Boston area. BREW takes place in and around Boston from October 12-28, 2011.

Think you’ve got what it takes to become the next successful entrepreneur? Try your hand at the Entrepreneur Challenge and test your skills against your friends, coworkers, and fellow entrepreneurs and receive a score you can brag about. For those innovative enough to come out on top, there is a $100 gift card in it for you from our friends at Wayfair.