How to Find the Right Internship or Job

Yesterday, I met a student who had worked in restaurants for years. He asked me how he could find an internship in a hotel for the summer of 2011. I feel very pleased that he prepares early, and I also believe that he already have had an excellent start by asking advices from his professors. I gave him several suggestions:

1. Have an updated resume ready for job applications and ask peers, professors, and professionals to critique the resume.
2. Start talking to professors and staff members who may have industry connections. Very likely, they know somebody who is hiring.
3. Be actively involved in the activities hosted by the Career Service Center and utilize the resources provided by the center.
4. Research your dream companies and see if they have internship or management trainee program in place for college students. Then, prepare your application materials that target specifically to the dream jobs/companies.
5. Join professional organizations and start networking. AH&LA, NRA, and CMAA are good places to start.
6. Maintain a positive and strong presence on Facebook, LinkedIn, or even blogs. Start “Like” the corporate page of your potential employers and actively participate in their online discussion. The chances are you may start talking to the interviewers even before you apply for a job.
7. Go to tradeshows like the International Hotel, Motel, and Restaurant Show in NYC and network with industry professionals. SU provides free transportations to this show.
8. Prepare and ask guest speakers’ intellectual questions during their campus visit. These guest speakers may also be the ones who interview you. If not, they may know someone who is hiring and connect you to the right person.
9. During winter break, visit the hotels or restaurants you want to intern or work in the future. Your experience as a customer is important. If you dressed up as if you were doing an interview and introduced yourself to the manager in that location, you would have already made a very good impression to your future employers.
10. In the spring, continue a conversation with the managers or professionals you have talked before. You need to remind them you are still actively looking for an internship or job.

It is never too early to start finding an internship or career. I believe opportunities are given to those students who are well-prepared. What career advices will you give to college students?

References:
Picture was downloaded from HotelMarketer.com via http://tinyurl.com/linchikwok10072010P

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