1. Go to the Job and Internship Fair
There’s no better way to land a position with the company you want than to make a good impression in person. When you speak face-to-face with a company representative, you have a competitive edge over applicants who just applied electronically. With the right attire, resume and presentation you could even get an interview on the spot. Research the companies who are attending in advance and be familiar with their line of work and objectives. Check out the NIU calendar for upcoming career events.
2. Join a club
Joining a club is an integral part of portraying yourself as a well-rounded student. It shows that you can balance school and extracurricular activities. It is a great talking point and a way to show that you can apply classroom theories. Engineering is all about working in teams and being part of an organization is a great way to show that you can be a team player. NIU has great clubs and organizations to develop technical and soft skills.
3. Get your resume reviewed
Human resource personnel receive hundreds of applications for a single position. It’s important to have a resume that is clean, easy to read and concise. NIU Career Services has great resources to attend workshops and build your resume and cover letter. They even have a Practice Interview Week in the beginning of the fall semester.
4. Apply early and often
Leave your procrastination behind and don’t miss deadlines! Create a spreadsheet or write down the deadlines and requirements for each company you’re planning on applying to. Each company has different application requirements and documents that they need. Whether it’s a recommendation letter or list of references, it’s vital to meet their guidelines to successfully apply. Don’t wait until the last minute since the process could take time.
5. Be flexible
There might be a certain area that you really want to work in, but don’t limit yourself to positions that only correspond to your interests. This early in your career, it’s important to be open to different areas and industries. You never know what you might end up loving or where your hidden talents might lie. Companies want an employee who is adaptable and versatile, don’t block any opportunities that may come your way!