I am pretty sure every one of you has already written job applications. You print your application letter, your CV, all the recommendations you have and even your grades. After ensuring that there are no stains or dog-ears, you put them into the special, patted envelopes and send them to the company. Now comes the time of waiting. I think my longest wait for a reply has been 7 weeks. Then I received an one-page letter telling me my information has arrived and has been put into the their database and that I will be considered for all open job positions. Great, just what I wanted. Why do they want to consider me for all jobs, when I only want to have an internship? Answer is simple; putting all the data into one database without, probably, reading the application carefully is faster and cheaper than processing each application individually. Especially when it is concerning large corporations.
As I am looking for an internship right now, I started with the usual ways. I thought about the companies that might have an interest in hiring a marketing intern and those located in the greater Helsinki area. Unfortunately, only few companies had their websites in English or refered me to the international or U.S. site as soon as I hit the change language to English button.
As this whole traditional way was rather unsuccessful, I went to a recruitment fair, but as you could read before, this wasn’t a major success either. So I turned to the new media in an attempt to get in internship that way.
During the last couple of weeks, I have seen my friends asking on Facebook whether anyone knows a place from where to get an internship. Well, I am not sure how successful it is but it is surely worth a try. Unfortunately, most people don’t have so many company friends in their lists, so this is only word-of mouth. Still better than nothing. But Facebook isn’t the only social media network there is. You could twitter for a job, although I would be cautious hiring someone looking for a job on Twitter. I can’t name the reason for it, it is just a feeling I have. Maybe it is because Twitter is rather new to me and I don’t quite get a hang on it.
Fortunately, Reidi Hoffman and his friends/colleagues have given me another option to search for internships: LinkedIn. I have had heard of the network before, but the use was never there for me. I don’t want to say I am getting desperate but the more channels one has to promote oneself, the better it is. Therefore, not too long ago, I joined LinkedIn. Setting up my profile there didn’t take me too long. You can even upload your normal CV into the system and take all the important data from there. It might save you some time, although it created more hassle for me than benefits.
Apart from connecting with people you know, e.g. lecturers, former bosses and colleagues, entrepreneurs, you have th opportunity to browse an immense database with job offers of all kind. I have by now probably found 20 internships I am interested in and that suit my background and knowledge. Unfortunately the network and offers for Finland are rather small, so that I have not yet found more internships for Finland in LinkedIn. However, should I decide to go to the United States, Canada or even Australia, there are small really nice offers from companies. The LinkedIn network has several thousands of users and students and graduates are fasted growing section in the network. Although not every one is searching for the same job/position and LinkedIn isn’t the only channel recruiters use, the competition for the job is not less by using networking professionally. Nevertheless, at the end of the day someone wins the tender. As I haven’t been successful yet (keep your fingers crossed), I cannot advise you to take the same step. Nevertheless, the networking might not help you/me today, as the contacts are still limited, but in the future I see a great trend in this direction and I am sure that more jobs will be posted and rewarded to people who know how to work the system.
Right now, I am not that person, but I will work my way through the network and maybe some day I will get ‘the’ offer.
Until then, I can only advise you not to throw the towel. Better times are coming and you will also find the position or the job that fits you best.