Career Resources

Monday, December 6, 2010

Communication skills are key to career success

Among employers taking part in NACE’s Job Outlook 2011 survey, verbal communication skills topped the list of “soft” skills they seek in new college graduates looking to join their organizations

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Land your dream job by tailoring your interview answers

Most students know that when they write a cover letter, they need to match their skills and qualifications to the job or internship requirements. Each cover letter needs to be carefully crafted and individually tailored for the specific position. So, too, with the job interview. In preparing your answers for an upcoming interview, you need to frame all of your answers in relation to the position at hand.

Let me give you an example. I recently conducted a mock interview with a student who was interviewing for an internship at a French-based fashion company in New York City. Not once during the interview did she mention that she was in the university's fashion club or the fact that she spoke French or that she had organized fashion shows as fundraisers during her high school years. Yet, she should have mentioned all of these things when I said to her, "So tell me a little bit about yourself." By stating all of the things in your life that are relevant to a given position, it shows the interviewer that you have a history of interest in the field and that you are passionate about it. Employers love to see that.

Here's another example. If you were to go on an interview for an accounting internship and the interviewer said, "What do you feel are your major strengths or skills?" you would want to gear them to the position. You wouldn't say that you're a great writer, or that you're creative, or that you can speak another language. While these are all wonderful skills, they aren't relevant for this particular position. A great way to plan this answer is to look at the job description beforehand and the qualifications the employer is looking for in a candidate. For an accounting position, they're probably looking for someone who is organized, detail-oriented, and analytical so these are the skills you should highlight in this answer.

Likewise, when the interviewer asks you, "So, tell me, what is your greatest weakness?" it can't be something that would make you a poor fit for the job. For example, if you were interviewing for a position that involved a lot of customer interaction, you wouldn't want to say that you often lose your temper with impatient people. If this statement is true about you, then you probably need to be looking for some other kind of work.

Lastly, when the interviewer asks what your future plans are, they should be related to the job you're interviewing for. Let's say you're interviewing for a marketing position. Then you shouldn't say that your future career goal is to be an investment banker. It just doesn't make sense and the interviewer will be questioning why you're even there in the first place. The exception to this rule would be if you're a freshman or sophomore and are exploring careers and testing out your options.

By precisely targeting your answers to match the job or internship requirements, you'll increase your chances of landing your dream job by successfully answering the ultimate question, "Why should we hire you?"

Monday, October 4, 2010

Lucky 13

Recently, I wrote about my 12 tips for career fair success. After attending our university's Career Fair last week, I would like to now share my 13th tip for Career Fair success based on what I observed. It's to have an open mind and explore opportunities with as many employers as possible. Look beyond the big, brand name companies. You may be pleasantly surprised by what you find. I spent a large portion of my time directing students to employers they hadn't considered approaching, and they were happy that I did because they found out about internship and job opportunties they wouldn't have otherwise. Remember too that all companies have cross-functional departments so don't just focus on the industry they're in. For exmaple, if a software company is recruiting, you might think that they only want MIS or computer science majors. But a software company also has a marketing, accounting, finance, and operations department.

Also remember that, while your major and academics are important, employers are also looking for transferable skills when looking to hire an intern or grad. One woman I met at an employer table told me that she had majored in English and was now working in a sales development role. So start expanding your horizons when exploring your career options. You'll be glad you did.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Networking 101: 12 Tips for Career Fair Success

Tis the season for college recruiting and the requisite career fairs. Are you ready? If not, let me share my tips and strategies on how to effectively network at these events and increase your chances of landing an internship or job. Networking is a necessary part of the job search, and the primary way that people obtain jobs, but it's something that most college students dread. Networking isn't easy and it doesn't come naturally for most people. But, as with many things in life, it is a skill that can be developed and perfected with practice. Essentially, the more you do it, the more at ease you will feel.

Here are a dozen tips to ensure your career fair success:

1. Have copies of your resume printed on quality resume paper which you can buy at any office supply store. Employers may or may not accept resumes but you should have them in case they do.

2. Keep your resumes in a portfolio (which you can also buy at an office supply store for under $15). These portfolios come equipped with a notepad, pen, calculator and pockets to store business cards.

3. Speaking of business cards, you may want to consider buying some of your own, particularly if you are a senior. You can get free business cards at (there may be other companies too). Make sure to keep them conservative.

4. Dress in business attire (or business casual, depending on the type of career fair and the industry) and be well groomed. First impressions count.

5. Make a plan of which companies you want to talk to at the career fair so that you don't waste time. Some of the more popular companies may have long lines.

6. Do research about the companies you are interested in - at the very least read their website but you might also research them in online company databases, such as Hoovers. What you don't want to do is approach a recruiter and say, "So tell me, what does your company do?" You may say, however, something like, "I've heard a lot of good things about your rotational program. Can you tell me more about it?" The key word here is "more," implying you already know something about it. Or you can say, "What kind of skills/qualifications are you looking for in a candidate for your rotational program?"

7. If you're nervous about approaching employers, start with a company that you're not really interested in. That way you can test drive your networking skills and get the jitters out before you approach the recruiter at your dream company.

8. Approach each recruiter with a smile and a firm handshake, minus the sweaty palm. If you have a tendency toward sweaty palms, keep a tissue in your pocket and use it in between handshakes.

9. Introduce yourself and start off with some basic information about yourself such as your year in school, major, concentration, etc. Some people will then launch into their "30 second pitch," but the more natural approach is to let the other person say something about him/herself. Then you can go into your pitch, highlighting your experience, skills and accomplishments.

10. After speaking with each recruiter, thank them for their time and say something like, "It was a pleasure to meet you and discuss the internships available at your company." Make sure to get a business card!

11. After you walk away, go to a discreet part of the room and write notes about your conversation with the recruiter, which you will use in your thank you note.

12. Send a thank you note to each recruiter you spoke with and follow up on any promises you made. For example, if you mentioned you would send them your resume, make sure you do it. Do this even if you feel that you aren't interested in the company and/or the position. Why? Well, first of all, it's good business etiquette but, secondly, you never know when you might meet that recruiter again at another career fair or during an interview.

By applying these tips for career fair success, you'll be sure to make the most of this networking experience!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Keep your references in the loop

I got a call yesterday from an employer looking for a reference for a student, and I was totally caught off guard because the student hadn't told me about it. First of all, I couldn't recall who the student was right on the spot since I work with thousands of students, and this particular student had a very common last name. Luckily, after a few minutes of awkward silence on the phone, I searched my memory and was able to remember him. But then I had to quickly scramble to remember what I knew about him. I asked the recruiter if he would mind if I took a minute to look up my counseling notes in our student database, and he agreed. After a few more minutes, I was finally able to provide a reference to the recruiter. But was it the best reference I could have given him? Probably not. Plus now the recruiter knew that the student hadn't contacted me beforehand, which could create an unprofessional impression.

All of this could have been avoided if only the student had given me a heads up that the employer would be calling me for a reference, what position he was interviewing for, what the employer was looking for in a candidate and what he wanted me to emphasize about him in the reference. That way, I could have strategically developed a targeted reference for him that would have been much better than my ad hoc, top of mind response and would have increased his chances of landing the job.

Moral of story: Let your references know each and every time you are using them as a reference for a job so that they won't be caught off guard like I was and will be able to provide you with the glowing reference you deserve.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Resumes: First impressions count

First impressions count on a resume, so what does yours say about you? Does it say that you're sloppy, detail-oriented, scattered or professional? Of course, it's the content of your resume that employers care most about but if your resume doesn't look appealing and inviting, they may never get to your content. Recruiters will automatically be drawn toward the resumes that look professional and readable.

Here are some ways to increase the probability that your resume will be read:

1. Make sure to use enough white space; don't squeeze too much text into too little space.
2. However, don't leave too much white space at the bottom of our resume which would convey that you don't have a lot of experience; spread the text out evenly down the page.
3. Use at least a 10 point font size but nothing larger than 12 point.
4. Use bolding, italicization, and underlines to make your resume look interesting.
5. Don't use cutesy graphics (one time I saw heart symbols on a student's resume) or unusual fonts to get attention; when in doubt, err on the side of being conservative.
6. Be consistent with formatting within your resume; for example, if you bold one company name, make sure you bold them all.
7. Use bullets to describe your work experience, not paragraphs.
8. Absolutely do not have any typos or misspellings! Your resume could easily be discarded into the "no" pile because of one typo, and wouldn't it be a shame to be disqualified for that?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Your Facebook friends can help you find a job!, a vast database of jobs and internships that culls postings from numerous job search sites, recently launched a new integration feature with Facebook, and it's really simple to use. All you have to do is go onto, click on the Facebook logo, and log into your Facebook account. Then click on "allow" and you will see a list of your friends and the companies they work at. By clicking on the company name, you will see a list of any jobs at that company that are currently posted on SimplyHired. If you are interested in applying for a particular job and would like to enlist the support of your Facebook friend, simply click on their picture and an automatic email is generated telling your friend that you are interested in applying for a job at their company and would like to learn more about it. You can change the content of that email if you wish.

I have been explaining this new feature in my recent counseling sessions and some students seem a bit reluctant to use it. Their first concern is that their Facebook friends will know that they are using it. That's absolutely not true. The only way they would know is if you were to send an email to them about a specific job. The other comment I frequently hear from students is that none of their friends have jobs or none of them have jobs at companies they would want to work at. But how would they know unless they tried it? So let's say you have a friend who works in a retail position. Although that might not be the job you want, your friend might have connections to management within that company.

I would say that this feature is definitely worth looking into. It's a pretty easy and non-intimidating way to ease into networking. For more info and a brief video tutorial, please visit the following link:

Friday, June 25, 2010

Interns: What to do after the coffee run

Maybe your internship requires that you get the morning coffee for the team, or maybe it doesn't. If it does, make sure that you perform this task well and with a smile, and remember: fetching coffee for your co-workers IS NOT BENEATH YOU. While I'm on this subject, neither is photocopying, filing or answering the phones. If you can do even these menial tasks with a positive attitude, you'll be viewed as a team player who will do whatever it takes to get the job done.

Everything you do during an internship will be closely monitored by your supervisors, partly to determine if you're doing your job well and partly to determine if you would be the type of person they would like to work with on a permanent basis. Remember: an internship is a "summer-long interview" so you need to be on your best behavior at all times. Here are ten sure fire tips for making the most of your summer internship and increase your chances of landing a full-time job offer.

1. Make sure you understand what the company's policy is regarding internet, social media (e.g. Facebook) and cell phone usage.
2. Don't sit at your desk with nothing to do; be proactive in seeking out assignments.
3. Try to find ways you can solve a problem, make an impact or produce measurable accomplishments.
4. Don't be afraid to ask questions; it's better to ask a question than to do something wrong. Employers expect that interns will ask questions.
5. Be friendly to everyone in the office and offer to help people whenever the opportunity presents itself.
6. Conduct informational interviews with employees in the company who are doing the jobs that you would like to do.
7. Don't get involved in office politics or gossip.
8. Ask for an evaluation of your performance/reference at the end of your internship.
9. Update your resume while your internship is fresh in your mind.
10. Connect with your supervisor/co-workers on LinkedIn and stay in touch with them throughout the academic year.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Eight Tips for Boosting Your LinkedIn Profile

Many of you have probably heard of LinkedIn and some of you may have even created a profile there. However, that may have been where your exploration of LinkedIn stopped. Students I meet with are often confused about how to use this powerful professional networking resource. My simplest explanation to them is that LinkedIn is the professional equivalent of Facebook. Although this isn’t entirely accurate, I just want them to grasp the magnitude and popularity of this powerful networking site while also understanding the necessity of using it in their job search. According to a January 2010 study conducted for Microsoft by Cross-Tab Marketing Services, 75% of HR departments are now required to research candidates online so it’s definitely in your best interest to establish a robust LinkedIn profile.
Here are my eight tips that can boost your online presence and personal brand:

1. Establish a comprehensive and thorough profile by copying and pasting sections of your resume into your profile and post your resume.
2. Upload any PowerPoint presentations or projects you have done; establish links to blogs and other websites you may have.
3. Create an interesting headline such as “Marketing Intern at ABC Company” as opposed to “Student at XYZ University.”
4. Invite people into your network such as peers, professors, advisors, supervisors, coaches and mentors.
5. Join groups relating to your career of interest; this will enable you to more easily connect to members in the group, obtain insider information, enter into discussions with them and post questions.
6. Get someone to write a recommendation for you to be posted on LinkedIn.
7. Change your status frequently; by doing this your name will appear often in the LinkedIn update emails and will position you as someone who is actively involved in your industry.
8. Link your book recommendations to Amazon; ideally, they should pertain to your career field.

Okay, so now that you've implemented all of these wonderful tips, what happens next? Do you suddenly have recruiters beating a cyber path to your LinkedIn door? Probably not, although some recruiters are using LinkedIn to find qualified job applicants. However, a LinkedIn profile is now a necessary and required component in your job search and in building your professional online brand. If you don't have a LinkedIn profile, and the other candidates do (with all other factors being relatively equal), the candidate with a LinkedIn profile will definitely have the competitive advantage.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Recent Grads: Do you need a pep talk?

Last week I had a meeting with a recent grad with whom I've been working for the past two years. When she walked into my office, her facial expression said it all. She was clearly feeling dejected and unmotivated because she hadn't landed a job before graduation. I could certainly understand why she was feeling this way because she is the type of person who, all throughout her life, was able to set goals for herself and readily implement a plan to achieve those goals. Her industrious, ambitious nature had paid off nicely for her...until now. So it was understandable that she was having a difficult time with what she perceived as failure.

However, at the end of our meeting I noticed that her facial expression had changed...she seemed more relaxed and was actually smiling and joking. In our meeting, I had strategized with her to develop new job search options and, more importantly, had reminded her of the many ways she was a superior and competitive job applicant. I was able to boost her morale and her confidence, and she was able to leave my office feeling re-energized about her job search. Just a week later, I received a very upbeat email from her informing me of her networking activity and upcoming interview...she feels positive that something will come out her renewed efforts. And that makes me feel great because my job is to be a supportive coach who cheerleads my students onto success.

So, if you're like my student and haven't landed a job yet, please don't give up...even if you've applied for 50 jobs...or 100 jobs! Maybe you too need a pep talk from a career counselor to motivate you and get you back on track. Most colleges continue to offer career services for recent graduates and alumni, and they're usually not that busy in the summer so they'll have lots of time to devote to you.

Even though you may feel that you're doing everything right in your job search, your career counselor may be able to identify a minor thing that you hadn't even noticed. For example, one of my students came in and said she wasn't getting any interviews. It turned out that she had her New Jersey address on her resume while she was applying for jobs in the Boston area. Other students have told me that they don't move onto second round interviews, and I always suggest that they come in to do a mock interview with me where I can provide constructive feedback on what they can do better. Or other times, I just reassure students that they are doing a great job at interviewing, and this gives them the confidence they need to go in and ace the real interview.

So, don't just sit in your room feeling downhearted. Get out and go visit your school's career counseling office and get the pep talk you need to keep you going! I would recommend going to see them on a weekly basis to keep you on track and to keep you motivated. A job search can be a grueling, emotionally draining process so why not enlist the support of a career counselor who can coach you along the way?

Monday, May 3, 2010

The resume is always greener on the other side

Have you ever had a job where you had to say, "Can I take your order please" 50 times a day?" Or a job where you had to tie the shoelaces and wipe the runny noses of 25 young campers on a daily basis? If so, you're not alone. Most freshmen and sophomores with whom I meet have had similar job experiences, and many of them feel that these jobs aren't significant enough to be put on a resume. They seem to think that every other student's resume is brimming over with high-level internships at major companies. Most often, that is not the case.

"So, who will want to hire me as an intern?" you might be asking, "if all I have on my resume are retail jobs, life guarding and camp counseling." The answer is "a lot of companies." Employers are seeking candidates who have the transferable skills they are seeking, NOT the direct experience, especially in regard to internship hiring. According to a survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, the most common transferable skills required by employers are communication skills, strong work ethic, teamwork skills, initiative, analytical skills, computer skills, flexibility/adaptability, interpersonal skills, problem-solving skills and technical skills. I'm sure that most of you reading this post have many, if not all of these skills.

Remember too that transferable skills can be developed and honed in any kind of situation, not just in a work-related situation. Have you been involved in community service projects or taken on a leadership role in a school club or organization? Have you worked on a team project where you had to use your analytical skills? It's doesn't matter how or where you have developed your transferable skills, just that you have them.

So, think about which transferable skills you have and which ones you still need to work on. Then try to find an internship/job or extracurricular activity where you can improve those skills. Although internships are invaluable in terms of gaining experience and building your resume, a job can be equally as good. Sometimes students get hung up on the terminology, thinking internships are better than jobs, but a job where you are working on important projects is much better than an internship where all you are doing is fetching coffee and making photocopies.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Sometimes less is more on a resume

With many things in life, more is better. However, this is not the case with regard to resumes. I think it is human nature for most people to want to put everything they have ever done in their lives onto their resume. This reminds me of a cartoon I saw that said a resume is not an autobiography. How true! What good is a resume that is chock full of information that is totally irrelevant to the position? If you went into a store to buy a laptop, would it make any sense if the salesperson started talking about the features of the newest cell phone or iPod?

We have a strict rule in our career center that students' resumes must fit onto one page and often my counseling meetings revolve around helping students determine what to leave on their resume and what to take off. For some, this is a painful process because they have a deep attachment to their high school leadership activities and experiences and are reluctant to delete them from their resume. While I can certainly understand why students feel this way about their proudest accomplishments, they should begin phasing out some things from their resumes as they embark upon their internship or job search.

Students need to remember that a resume is a dynamic document, a constant work in progress. I always remind them that they will be adding and subtracting to their resumes during their entire career so they might as well get used to it. Even though I'm sure you laboriously perfected the resume you submitted with your college applications, that resume served a specific purpose and should not be the same resume you submit for job or internship opportunities. While you may have been the Captain of your football team or the Editor-in-Chief of your high school yearbook, there comes a point when you can no longer bask in the glory of prior accomplishments but need to move on to developing leadership activities in college and adding internship experiences to your resume.

When writing or reviewing your resume for a specific position, take a good hard look at EVERYTHING on your resume to determine if it is relevant for the position. This is similar to a company designing an advertising campaign to meet the specific needs of its target audience. If they do a good job of this, their customers will want to read the ad and buy the product. Likewise, if you carefully craft a targeted resume, the employer will be more apt to read it and bring you in for an interview. If something on your resume is totally irrelevant to the position, then you should take it off. Irrelevant items actually dilute and weaken a resume.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

It's okay to brag...sometimes

We've all met annoying, egotistical people who love to brag about themselves. Most college students seem to be particularly sensitive to this and would never brag to their peers. However, they carry this same attitude into the interview. Students frequently tell me that they are hesitant to brag about themselves in the interview for fear of being viewed as arrogant or egotistical. Sometimes this is a reflection of having been brought up in a different culture than the U.S. but I also see it in students who were born here. I always tell them that, while humility is a virtue, the interview is not a place to be humble. Bragging to your friends about your accomplishments is, well, bragging. But bragging in an interview is "selling yourself" in order to get the internship or job.

When you go on an interview, the objective is to present yourself in the best possible light to the employer so that they will want to hire you. So you need to feel confident about talking about yourself, highlighting your strengths and skills that would be relevant for the position and expressing your significant accomplishments. Believe me, the interviewer will not perceive this as bragging! Interviewers want to hire confident people, so they will be quite impressed that you are a person who can speak confidently about yourself! They are also investing a lot of time and money in the hiring process and need to make sure they are getting an optimal return on investment by hiring the best candidate. And how would they know you're the best candidate unless you tell them!

If you're still feeling reluctant about selling yourself during the interview, conduct mock interviews with counselors at your career center who will be able to coach you on how to present your key skills, strengths and accomplishments in a confident, polished manner. And, if you're concerned at all about coming across as arrogant, no need to worry! Chances are that you are far from being arrogant, but if you are, your counselor will let you know it.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

The odds are NOT 1 in 175,000,000

I hardly ever play the lottery, but the jackpot for the Mass Mega Millions game last Friday night was beckoning me at $144,000,000, not because of the sheer number of millions I could potentially win but because 4's and 1's are "my numbers," and I felt it was a sign that I should play. The next day I eagerly went to the Mass State Lottery website and discovered I hadn't matched any numbers out of five quick picks. That wasn't the worst of it. Right below the winning numbers I saw that the probability of winning the jackpot was 1 in 175,711,536! Wow! But you know the saying, "If you don't play, you can't win."

So, you're probably wondering...what does playing the lottery have to do with career counseling? Well, if you win the Mega Millions, you won't ever need to look for a job again! Just kidding! Some students I meet with seem to believe that the odds of getting a job are as slim as winning the Mega Millions jackpot and make a decision to not even apply to some positions based on their pre-conceived suppositions. They say things like, "that job is so competitive," or "so many people are going to be applying for that job," or "I bet the other candidates have better GPA's than me." It's amazing to me how many students create myths in their minds about why they won't get the job. I always say to them, "Why are YOU taking yourself out of the running without even applying? Let the company make the decision as to whether or not you're a good candidate." Just like you can't win the lottery if you don't play, you can't get the job if you don't apply! But unlike playing the lottery, the odds are much, much greater that you'll get an interview and land the job, and you don't even have to pay any money!

Also, the odds of landing a job greatly increase the more jobs you apply to so don't just sit back after applying for 10, or 15 or 20 jobs and think you're done. And please don't give up if you haven't heard anything from those first companies you applied to. Keep on applying! What have you got to lose? The odds are in your favor.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

An interview is not a confessional

Many times when I am conducting mock interviews with students, I have to remind them that the interview is not a confessional. As a Catholic, going to confession is part of my religious tradition, but it always amazes me how many students treat the interview in just the same way. It's not that these students are confessing their deepest, darkest secrets to me. No, not at all. It's just that they either divulge way more information than is necessary to answer the question or will readily share information that will be viewed in a negative light. Skilled interviewers are adept at leading their interviewees down this path to total disclosure and many students, just starting out in the professional world, may not be prepared to handle this.

Let me give you some examples. I recently conducted a mock interview with a student who was going into the final round of interviews for a full-time position. When I asked him why his GPA wasn't so great, he started telling me how he had a hard time in freshman year because he couldn't balance his academics with his social life. I said to him, "Do you mean social life as in partying?" and he said, "Yes." Hello! However, after talking to him "off the record," I discovered that his GPA had been steadily increasing since his first semester as a freshman. So I advised him just to say that and not mention his problem with partying.

Another student was going on a first-round interview which required leadership skills. As president of a sorority, she clearly held a leadership role which would make her a competitive candidate for the position. However, when I asked her about her role as a leader, she started to tell me that she was "opinionated and overbearing" and had a difficult time taking suggestions. "Off the record" we discovered that the reason she said this was because she was nervous and hadn't planned to say that. After some discussion, she was able to identify the positive traits that made her a terrific leader.

I asked another student who was interviewing for a client services position, which job on her resume she liked best and which one she liked least. She proceeded to tell me that she liked the client-centered job the least because dealing with the public can be annoying! So "off the record," I told her either to not apply for jobs that involve client contact or make sure to change her answer.

Okay, so I know what you're thinking..."How could these students have said these things...didn't they know better?" Thinking that is like watching "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" while shouting out all the right answers to the contestant from the safety of your living room. An interview can be an extremely anxiety-provoking situation, somewhat similar to being a game show contestant on national TV, where people end up saying things they hadn't planned on just because of nervousness.

So what's the solution? The solution is to plan, plan, plan your answers to the commonly asked interview questions. I'm not saying to memorize your answers but to know beforehand the key points that you want to mention. By doing this, you will know when to stop and it will keep you from rambling, which is the slippery slope toward the confessional. Another critical piece of advice is to be comfortable with silent pauses during the interview. Interviewers use these pauses to see how you will see if you can remain calm under pressure (this means STAYING SILENT) or if you will start to fill the void with nonsense.

The best way to prepare for interviews is to keep conducting mock interviews with career counselors, other professionals, or your peers. By doing this, you will be perfecting your interview technique and greatly increasing your chances of hearing those magical words, "You're hired!"

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Internships are a critical component of your college experience

Last fall at our Career Fair I went around to employers and conducted an informal survey to determine the key factor they were looking for in student candidates. I was expecting them to say a specific skill, such as solid communications skills, but instead they almost unanimously said that they looked for internships on a student's resume.

Internships, as most students know, are a terrific way to test the waters about your particular careers of interest and to build your resume. If you start them early enough in college, you can work at several different kinds of internships to determine what you like and don't like in terms of career options, work environments, company culture, day-to-day routine, etc. And the good news is that internships are plentiful as more employers are hiring interns to do some of the work that was previously done by full or part time permanent employees. Although some internships don't pay, there are also many that do. Most students do internships during the summer but there are lots of internships available during the academic year as well.

So, how do you go about finding an internship? First, you should check your school's Career Services office to see if they have either an online or paper database of internships. After that, there are several job search sites that literally have thousands of internships on them. One of my favorites is (which pulls postings from other job search websites and company sites). One great thing about SimplyHired is that you can set up multiple searches and get daily email alerts with any internships that match your search criteria. You can specify the city you want to intern in and use key words to find the internship that is just right for you.

Another one of my favorite internship sites is (yes, I said Craig's List!). While there are some sketchy things on CraigsList, many of my students have gotten some very good internships there. Students just need to view any posting with some discernment. See if the company has a website or Google their name to see what comes up. Remember the old adage: if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.

Internships are plentiful so there is no reason not to get one (or several!) If you're looking for a summer 2010 internship, you can start looking now but bear in mind that some employers post summer internships all the way through the spring semester. If you land an unpaid internship but still need to make some money, then a great option is to work part-time at the internship and also get a part-time paying job. Most employers offering unpaid internships are very flexible in terms of hours because they realize you are working for free.

By doing multiple internships, you'll be building your resume, which will make you a more competitive candidate when you graduate, and you'll be discerning exactly what you want out of your future career.