It is that time of year. Spring? No. Well yes… But I was thinking of application season. Though both seasons promise new beginnings, new opportunities, internship-application season isn’t nearly as beautiful as spring. The road to employment isn’t lined with flowers, it’s a gridlock of applications, cover letters and interviews.
If you are anything like me, you look around at the people in your program and instantly feel mediocre. You begin questioning if you are qualified for the job and soon your interior monologue lapses into resonating doubts that you are even deserve to submit the application. It happens time and time again. You find an amazing opportunity and you talk yourself out of it before you even apply.
It’s not easy slipping into that thought pattern and you may feel like you are the only one doing so. But believe it or not, your peers applying for the same applications are probably feeling the same way you are.
I am lucky enough to be surrounded by talented and driven peers within the convergence program at Mizzou. Each one of them are highly capable journalists and have an immense amount of potential and it is so wonderful to see them harnessing their potential.
Though you cheer on your peers, it’s easy to feel as though you are the only one not moving forward. But you know what? You too are standing there with them. You have earned your space. You may have different skills and experiences but a job doesn’t need to be done one certain way, it can be done a myriad of ways and your method can be just as successful. You have unique experiences that no one else has and for that, you too deserve to throw your name in the running.
So, for the person facing down a blank application unsure if it is worth it to apply. Try this exercise:
- The first resume you make, don’t make it with anyone else in mind.
- *Do this even if you already have one crafted. I found this helpful to do before tailoring your resume for a specific application.
- Think over your career and list the skills you generated -don’t worry about formatting or restraining it to one page.
- List all of your roles and general experiences
- List your specific responsibilities
- Finally, list what you learned
- Once you are done take some time and look at it. Genuinely look. Take the moment and be impressed at everything you accomplished.
- Harness that feeling of pride and use it as motivation when you go back and revise your resume.
We tried a version of this in my Online Audience Development class where everyone went around the room and named a skill they possessed. We put it all up on the whiteboard.
If you take away one thing from this little pep talk, please remember that though you may not have every skill someone has, but they don’t have the skills and experience you have. Take pride in being you.