By now it’s old news – the secret to launching a successful career is getting that first internship.
But how do I get my first internship?
Great question – that’s what EliteGrad is here for. In fact, we even started Getting Hired 101, a Webinar Series dedicated to helping our EliteGrads land their dream internship.
In our previous webinar, we covered how to Create a Profile that Gets the Interview, and now we’re so excited to share the key takeaways from our experts, Jeannie Gambino, EliteGrad Co-founder, and Elizabeth Fireman, 1st year MBA candidate at MIT. With Jeannie’s more than 20 years in search across the financial services industry, and Elizabeth’s past experience in Business Development at Millennium Management, these two recruiters bring unique and unparalleled insight when it comes to what hiring managers are really looking for, and more importantly, what you really need to know to get the interview and get hired.
After signing up for EliteGrad (obviously), here are 3 tips – straight from recruiters – that you should probably follow when applying for your dream internship:
1. Google yourself (and them)
No one should know more about yourself than you. Seems obvious, right? You’d be surprised how often this isn’t the case. You need to know exactly what’s available to the public when your name is typed into search engines, because I promise you, this is the first thing hiring managers do. Oh, and don’t be lazy when it comes to searching yourself, get creative – try including your name, city, school etc. Hopefully you won’t be surprised by what you find, but if you are, reach out to the website administrator – or even the search engine – and request that the unwanted information be removed. In the event it can’t be removed, at least you can prepare to address it, and won’t be caught with your pants down (hopefully metaphorically speaking).
Similarly, you should know everything publicly available about the company you’re applying to. Why? It will probably come up at some point in the hiring process, and if you’re unaware, it’ll be a check in the negative column, and we don’t like those. Besides, actually taking the time to learn about the organization you want to join not only shows you did your homework, but it shows that your interest is genuine, and everyone likes genuine – especially hiring managers.
2. Check your social media
Let’s be honest, you’ve taken a peek at a romantic prospect’s social media before going on a first date, right? Of course you have, and you should. But make no mistake, hiring managers do the exact same thing before inviting you to interview. So, manage your social media profiles, because your career could depend on it!
- Keep IG, FB and other socials private
We get it, keeping your social media private may not be ideal for your personal life, but it is for your professional one, so do yourself a favor and go private – at least while you’re looking for a job or internship. And just in case, you should probably delete any photos you wouldn’t want your grandma or hiring managers seeing (you know the ones).
While not a student-focused platform, LinkedIn is an extremely important tool for hiring managers. It shows the professional you– your interests, network, education and more.
Upload a professional picture or take one at home: Stop! Don’t crop that group photo and make it your LinkedIn profile pic. Wear professional clothes. Brush your hair. Smile. Can’t get a professional photo – no problem! Just find a clear background in a room that’s well lit in front of you (not behind you), and ask a friend to take your picture. If you’re design savvy, you can even remove the background and add in another one using tools like Canva or Adobe Photoshop.
Make sure your resume matches your LinkedIn Profile: Did you make an innocent mistake when filling out your profile on LinkedIn? It happens, but when your profile and resume don’t match, hiring managers will perceive it as a negative sign. So double check to make sure your dates, positions and everything else is correct on both!
Use relevant keywords for the industry you’re interested in: Hiring managers use LinkedIn Recruiter (a search engine) and will use keywords to look for the right candidate. So, use keywords in your profile that reflect your interests. For example, if you want to work at a Hedge Fund, add words like “investor” or “alternative asset management”.
Participate in relevant groups in the industry: LinkedIn Groups not only show your interests and help you stay up to date professionally, but it’s another great way for recruiters to find you.
Network: Do this effectively and discreetly. Hand pick people you believe can bring value to your job search, and who work in your desired industry. When adding them on LinkedIn, send a friendly note explaining why you want to connect – maybe you have an upcoming interview and want some pointers. Just be mindful of people’s time!
3. Sharpen your resume
Building an effective resume takes time. Where do I start? What should I add? We hope these tips will answer some of your questions and help make this a seamless process.
Make it short. You don’t have a lot of space to work with, so get straight to the point and sell yourself in one or two short sentences.
- Make it clean
One page: Hiring managers won’t read a second page. Unless you have decades of professional experience, which you don’t. Be concise.
Legible font: Print your resume. Ask someone to read it. If they have to put on their glasses, or squint to make it out, the font is too small!
Results from past work or projects: In a page full of words, numbers stand out and show the fruits of your labor. Add any metrics achieved, growth and relevant results from school, work or personal projects.
GPA (if it’s good): If you go to a top school and your GPA is above a 3.0, add it. Hiring managers like seeing top students, as it can correlate to becoming a top employee.
Only if it’s relevant: No one’s interested in interests that won’t lead to a meaningful conversation in an interview. But conversation starters or interests that have helped teach you a valuable life lesson are a positive, as it can allow hiring managers to get to know you holistically.
Can you speak to it?: No one likes a bait and switch, and hiring managers don’t even like a little embellishment. If your resume says you speak fluent Spanish, you should be able to interview in Spanish. If your resume says you’re advanced in Excel, VBAs, Macros, Power Queries, etc. should be a cake walk.
Okay, that’s all we got for now, but make sure you’ve checked all 3 of the boxes above before you start sending out those resumes – let us help you get that internship. Speaking of, don’t forget to sign up to stay up to date on internships available on EliteGrad.
Questions? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’re looking forward to helping you find your next internship!
Jeannie Gambino is the co-founder of EliteGrad, an online college recruiting platform, as well as managing partner of executive search firm Three Arch Advisors, which specializes in search for hedge funds. Having spent the last 13 years in executive search, Jeannie previously spent 10 years as an equity trader and sales trader at elite Wall St. firms including Spear Leeds and Kellogg, Goldman Sachs and Jefferies and Company in both New York and San Francisco. Her client base included top asset managers, hedge funds, corporations, and venture capital firms. In addition to being a top producer, she co-founded the corporate services desks for both Spear Leeds and Jefferies and ran the West Coast equity desk for Spear Leeds in San Francisco.
Elizabeth Fireman is currently a first year MBA candidate at MIT Sloan. Prior to joining the MIT Sloan community Elizabeth was an Investment Officer within the Business Development Group at Millennium Partners (MLP)where she focused on sourcing, evaluating, and allocating capital to new systematic trading teams/funds. Prior to focusing on growing the systematic trading business, Elizabeth was a generalist focused on sourcing and evaluating portfolio managers across all investment strategies and asset classes. Elizabeth joined Millennium’s Business Development team in 2014, prior to joining MLP she was a credit and real estate valuation analyst at PwC. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a BBA in Finance, a concentration in Accounting, and a minor in Psychology. Elizabeth obtained her CFA designation in 2017.