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Before You Begin: Set up for Success


Step 1: Identify what you are looking for.

  • Talk to your Eastside Career Coach.

  • Define your priorities and what you’re willing to compromise on

    • Function

    • Industry

    • Location/commute radius

    • Salary

    • Anything else (hours, mission alignment, flexibility to take classes or take care of other responsibilities)

  • Be flexible. The best internship or job for you might be in a function you are interested in, but the industry isn’t appealing. You can still get great experience!

  • Priorities change. In your first internship, your goal might be to just get work experience to build your resume. As you get older, your focus might become narrower.


Step 2: Update your resume to target the roles you will be applying to.

  • Update your verbs. Scan the skills in the job description(s) that you will be applying to and make sure your leading bullets start with power verbs that align with what they’re looking for.

  • Add/update Relevant Coursework section.

  • Add/update relevant Experience sections: add in new work experience, part-time jobs, volunteer experiences, class projects and hobbies that might align. For example:

    • Functional experience- If applying for research roles, add class research projects

    • Industry experience- If applying for environmental sustainability, add that you volunteered with Canopy.

  • Update GPA (if 3.0+) and expected graduation date.


Step 3: Update your LinkedIn profile.

  • Update Summary (if you have one). Make sure it aligns with the positions you are applying to.

  • Update your experiences on LinkedIn so it matches your resume.


Step 4: Update your online portfolio or GitHub (if applicable). 

  • Make sure recruiters can see examples of your work.

    • LinkedIn: have a link of your portfolio on LinkedIn or embed your projects directly into your LinkedIn profile.

    • Resume: include url to your portfolio or GitHub

Step 5: Expand your LinkedIn connectedness.

  • A strong network on LinkedIn will help you in your job search.

  • Join groups.

  • Add connections.

Step 6: Create your own job application tracker.

  • Staying organized in your job search is very helpful.

  • If you think in spreadsheets, try this Google Sheet to track your jobs.

  • If you think in post-its and lists, try a project management app like Trello.

  • Just use something and stick to it!

  • Create a folder to save pdf’s of job postings that you apply to. Often times job postings are removed once the interviews start.


Step 7: Create structure, accountability, and balance for your job search.


Job seekers usually fall into one of two camps of how they approach their job search:

  • It’s at the bottom of the list. When you are in school and/or already working, everything else has deadlines so it’s easy for people to de-prioritize the job search to work on things where they could feel the repercussions if they don’t complete it. Unfortunately, that doesn’t allow them to make any progress on their job search.

  • It becomes all-consuming. On the flipside, it’s also easy to stress about the job search and for some people, they can’t stop doing the job search, compulsively checking job boards 4 times a day and not allowing themselves to leave the house because “they could be using that time to do their job search.” This is not a healthy nor effective approach to the job search.


Instead, create structure, accountability, and balance in your job search.



  • When: Think about when you are most productive. Early morning? In that 1.5 hour time chunk between classes on Tuesdays/Thursdays? Right before you go to the gym?

    • Identify 1-3 productive times a week that you can do your job search.

    • Put 1-2 hours for those times on your calendar.

  • Where: Think about where you are most productive. Library? Coffee shops? Your room?

    • Choose a place where you can do your job search and be productive.

    • Just as important, think about where you are most distracted. Avoid those places!

  • Environment: Think about how you are most productive. With music? Ambient noise? Cell phone on ‘Silent’ or ‘Airplane Mode?’ By yourself?

    • Replicate those environmental factors that are important to you.

    • Feel free to experiment if you haven’t figured out what works best for you.

  • Focus your time: People are most productive when they focus on a single task. Many job seekers prefer having a single goal for each session and dividing their time. For example

    • Mondays: identify opportunities

      • Search through postings, identify interesting ones, enter into tracker and save a pdf of posting

    • Wednesdays: apply

      • Go back to the saved postings, fill out application forms, write cover letters and submit online



  • Treat it like a class. Put your job search on your calendar, repeating at the same time and place each week.

  • No excuses. It’s easy to skip it for something else with a more pressing deadline. Try as hard as possible to hold yourself to those times/days.

  • Have an accountability partner. Find someone else who is job/internship seeking and hold each other accountable like a gym buddy. You can go to the library together and work side by side or have a virtual partner where you can check in with each other remotely.

  • Hold consistent meetings with your Eastside Career Coach. Set up weekly or bi-weekly meetings with your Eastside Career Coach. They can keep you accountable, give you tips on how to make your search more effective and efficient, and provide morale.



The job search can be mentally exhausting and emotionally draining with the highs, lows, and uncertainties.

  • Keep recharged. Make sure you are doing something each week that helps fuel you. This might be working out, volunteering, doing something creative, or just talking with friends.

  • Talk about it. Get your frustrations out. Talk about it with friends or your Eastside Career Coach so you can process those emotions and stay motivated.

  • You are not alone if feeling frustrated. It is not a straight line to success in the recruiting process

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