In todays’ economy, it seems like finding a job is a full-time job in itself. In high school and even college there is a high focus on resume writing and even interview skills, but what good are these things if youngsters can’t even get their foot through the door?
Imagine being a customer of a popular apparel retail store that you are a huge fan of. And as a fashionista and a college graduate of conceptual art and fashion design, you apply for a job at one of their stores in your town that you frequently shop at but they didn’t even take the time out to write you back, call, email (or whatever) to let you know they even received your application.
This is cruel but unfortunately the reality of the quality of human resource, of many organizations hiring in the job market today. There is simply not much that can be done on that front. However should you find yourself lucky enough to land a position as a volunteer, or even better, an internship, here are a few simple tips to remember that could land you a possible full-time position:
Treat your internship as you would a Fulltime job
We all know that most internships don’t pay. They nether offer fringe benefits, nor stipends for getting to work half hour earlier than paid employees everyday or for leaving an hour later after everyone else to make sure prepped and ready for the next working day. Nevertheless, it is important to remember your self-worth and give as much as the labour-laws of the land would require you to give should you be employed full-time. Don’t slack off at work because you are not an employee but rather make your mark, so you are the most memorable and instrumental intern the business has ever had.
Make the most out of the Opportunity
This works best for persons interning at large corporations with multiple departments and department levels. As an intern, you have the opportunity to not be stagnant and shift through multiple parts of a workplace during your tenure. Seize this opportunity to gain as much industry experiences as you can possibly get and ascertain real-world applicable knowledge of all the industry on-the-job skills, tricks, short cuts and everything else that you can get for free in exchange for your quality time given to their organization. Doing this may not exactly land you a job within the organization you are volunteering at. However, your wide range of knowledge gained and versatile list of experiences may score you a shining recommendation from one of the many department heads you would have had the pleasure of working with and will look great on your resume to increase your chances for a job somewhere else–for example, an industry competitor.
Never Miss A Function
Attend all events. Never miss a birthday party, a staff or union meeting, an early m
orning briefing, a promotion celebration, a retirement party, or even a funeral. It doesn’t matter what the event is, you pull out your best dress –or suit for the fellows– and you go! All events that you could make yourself visible is a networking opportunity. It also gives you insight as to what is going on in the organization you are volunteering or interning for and your visibility and charisma could be the very element that makes you a high candidate with great considerations for the next open and available paying position within the organization.
If you are not able to attend a celebration, or you were not invited, sending inexpensive congratulatory gifts such as flowers, books, cards or a fruit basket is not inappropriate and depending on the person and their influence in the organization, will put you on upper ranking management’s radar. It is very important to note that doing this requires a great amount of tact, as one could easily come off as ‘trying too hard’.
Don’t Forget to Smile!
Be courteous to everyone; from the ancillary staff that sweeps the floor to the C.E.O who never remembers your name. It doesn’t matter if the business is large or small. Try not to get caught up in inter-department gossip, frivolous water cooler chats about misdoings of other employees or speaking ill of anyone, especially the boss. Remember to smile with everyone, employees, customers and stakeholders alike. Be the person that when the next customer survey comes in, the client says “give that young man a raise!” even though you were never been paid in the first place.
True story: A friend of mine recently got an international job working as a Housekeeping manager for a famous resort in the West Indies, after being a front desk attendant at another hotel he worked at in his home country. Unbeknownst to him, the person who he was checking in at the hotel he was an intern at was a high level executive at a larger brand hotel in a different country.
Apparently the gentleman was unhappy with how his room was done by the housekeeping staff and my friend, getting this feedback after shortly checking in the gentleman, quickly apologised for his displeasure and asked him for ten minutes of his time over a drink on the house while he (my friend) himself went and handle the situation. After the gentleman agreed, he honoured his ten minute deadline and quickly rushed to hotel room and quickly cleaned up and made it fit for a king, then rushed back to his front desk post where he informed the man waiting in the spacious lobby that his suit was ready. The gentleman was so impressed with my friend’s efforts, speed, and courtesy that he demanded that he shouldn’t be wasting his time working front desk for the hotel he worked minimum wage for; and offered him a management position at his hotel overseas where he could train his staff of nearly 150 housekeepers to be as efficient as he was. The salary was needless to say well above average for persons his age with a bachelors degree and he never regretted the day he relocated for his new job.