The words “career,” “internship,” or “graduation” can bring up fear within many students. I, personally, know that although the idea of not having to study, getting paid, and being able to work on something you are passionate about may bring excitement, the application process brings on anxiety and worriment. These three actions have helped me reduce my stress – and I hope will help you, too. Consider adding these three steps to your self-care routine:
- Identify Your Weakness
What are you most worried about in the application process? Most students worry about the factors they lack. We are afraid the person hiring will find our weakness during the application process. Because we know ourselves better than anyone else, we know our personal flaws all too well. Sometimes we may even project our weakness to the employer without knowing it.
How can we rid ourselves of these fears? Analyze what we are most worried about and find ways to increase your confidence.
If you feel like you lack a skill on your resume, join a club or find a position that will help you build the skills necessary to create the full package most employers look for. If you feel like the application itself is weak, identify the component of the application that does not showcase your strengths to the best of its ability. Is it the resume? Is it the interview?
The easy solution is to come to the Center for Career Development. If you are worried about your resume presentation, we have trained coaches who can help you rebuild your application materials. If you are worried about interviewing, we have practice interviews. Consider also reaching out to your peers for support and encouragement. Many are in the same position as you and they can help to make you feel more comfortable by giving you advice on your application. Just remember the more you practice the better you will be!
- Start Early!
We all may procrastinate, but to feel better about the entire process, start applying early.
You may feel the urge to postpone the application process closer to the deadline date, however, you should aim to have it in a few weeks before the deadline, if possible. First, many companies review applications as they come in. Second, some applications require not only a resume and cover letter, but also recommendations and other material that may take some time to acquire or write. The more time you give yourself to do the application the stronger your application will be.
Even if the career fair is in a few weeks, if you know there are certain companies that you aim to talk to at the fair, it is better to start their online application before the event. Applying to one job a day leading up to the career fair helps reduce the stress of the application process. It also helps you showcase that you are prepared and enthusiastic about certain companies. Both admirable qualities that companies look for in candidates.
- Don’t Sit Still!
Waiting for the call for an interview or for the offer may be the hardest challenge. Some may tell you to take your mind completely off of the application. There is nothing more you can do so if you are able to stop thinking about the application, I definitely recommend doing that. However, if you are like me, you will find it impossible to take your mind off of it. Instead of counting down the minutes or checking your phone constantly, the most relaxing thing to do is to keep applying to new jobs. As doors close, some may open. However, the amount of doors that open depends on how many jobs you have applied to. It is best for your stress if you keep applying to job postings as you wait to hear back about an offer.
These may be obvious lessons that we have heard repeatedly – but have we actually followed them? As I take my past experience into consideration when applying for internships this year, I have taken my own advice to heart and have made steps in the direction of using my stress and worriment to help me reach my goals.