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college student job search advice

photo from ambro via freedigitalphotos.net

The Internet strips an applicant of personality and individuality. The online application process is indifferent to whatever sets you apart from other applicants. I may have a great sense of humor that allows for strong customer-to-employee relationships. Or I may be persuasive enough to sell a product in record time. Online applications, however, do not make these qualities readily available to the company. One may argue that written applications lack personality as well, but if I enter a store, talk to an associate and then to a manager, I could give that company a glimpse of my sense of humor or my persuasive language before I even put pen to paper. And, while I start to fill out that paper application, the manager is already thinking, “Wow, this girl seems like a good fit for our store.”

I don’t know about you, but if I were reading this paragraph out of context, I would assume that it was written by an “old school” person who is bent out of shape about “the way everything happens on the internet now.”

But it was actually written by a University of Southern California student on the college’s digital news site, Neon Tommy.

It’s a very interesting point-of-view from a student looking for a summer job. This is someone who has grown up in the digital era, doing nearly EVERYTHING on the web. Yet now they’re realizing that the internet isn’t the ideal way to show your value to potential employers.

This goes back to something I always tell my Career Coaching clients – the internet is a great tool to make connections and network your way into a job. But nothing can beat the impression you can make in person. The “system” this student writer refers to is indeed flawed, both for summer jobs and full-time careers. But don’t give up on trying to do things in person. To their point, in a day and age when everyone defers to the web, the person who goes out of their way to make an in-person impression will truly stand out.

Check out the rest of the article here, and let me know your thoughts on this topic!