When creating a strategy for applying to jobs, internships or graduate school, the best policy is to start early. It is not uncommon for summer internship deadlines to be in the fall.  Starting early gives you the opportunity to choose from the most options. In contrast, if you wait until early April to begin your search for an internship, a vast number of deadlines may have passed.

Prepare to identify and contact references far in advance. You want to provide graduate school references a minimum of (1) month notice. This is to ensure that they have enough time to write a thoughtful letter that highlights your strengths and ability to succeed in an academic program. For references related to jobs and internships, contact your reference if you have been selected for an interview. Let them know the type of position you are applying for and share your career goals with them. It also may be helpful to share what aspects of your strengths and experience you think they are best suited to evaluate and provide context for. This extra bit of coaching will be helpful for your references as it will allow them to feel more prepared to speak about your professional skills.

Always remember to follow the company’s or school’s instructions when applying. Lastly, make sure that your applications are neat, accurate and include the most relevant information.

Our office provides assistance with preparing graduate school essays and providing tips on how to create a strong internship or job application.