What Not Getting Hired This Summer Taught Me

I’d be lying if I wasn’t a little relieved at having a lot of free time this summer to babysit and do a few odd jobs for money as opposed to doing a 9-5 unpaid internship, but I’m also a little bummed none of the literary agencies or publishing companies I applied to wanted to take a chance and hire a college freshman.

To hopefully avoid the same fate next year, I’m taking the time to note what I will do differently next time (this is a preliminary, growing list):

  1. ​Start earlier. I started my job search in February and didn’t apply until April because most of the opportunities I was looking at didn’t open applications until then for summer positions. BUT, I would decide to apply as soon as each application opened, rather than waiting for them all to be ready (I wrote all my applications at the same time, so I could have done this had I known better). It costs me valuable time that I could have been considered for a job.
  2. Make sure I have no email problems before, during, or after my application process. This one was kind of out of my hands because Weebly and Google changed their partnership rules when it comes to using Google Apps, and I didn’t know how to adapt until it had cost me 2 weeks of not receiving emails (gasp!) The good news is that I now know how to fix it and did.
  3. I would interact more with my potential employers on social media. I didn’t exactly give them radio silence this time around, but there is still a lot of room for improvement. And while this doesn’t guarantee any time of job, it doesn’t hurt to demonstrate my interest as much as possible.
  4. And last, but not least, I’d have a back-up plan should I find myself in the same position as this summer where none of my plans worked out. I am clearly finding ways to fill my time (the aforementioned babysitting and “odd jobs,” writing more blog posts, trying to find clients for my freelancing services, and finishing the draft of The Matchmakers—and hopefully resuming Shattered Glass), but it’s hodge-podge nature is due to it being thrown together in the 11th hour.

Do you have any job search advice? Or maybe you have a similar story of woe filled with examples of what not to do when looking for employment? Feel free to share it below in the comments!

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