Happy New Year

It’s good to think about the future and what great educational and job opportunities may come your way this year. While the economic news is as dark as a jet-black cat, it’s good to take an optimistic and almost scientific approach to internships and the job market.

Here are some New Year’s resolutions for aspiring students who need to land an internship or job.

1. Hone your writing and communication skills.
Sharp people get the first shot at a job and impressing someone with your skill-set will put you ahead of the pack.

2. Research your potential employer.
Not a cursory home page read of their Web site. Dig out the news, find some fresh content — study.

3. Talk to family, friends, professors, classmates.
Networking gives you the very best approach to learning of jobs and internships not widely disseminated.

4. Don’t rely on mass mailing resumes to addresses you found on the Internet.
Mailing resumes to “Whom it may concern,” is a wasted effort. If you don’t work hard at getting to the right people, you won’t get an audience with her/him.

5. Develop a hard-hitting and attractive writing portfolio of your best work.
Even if it’s class assignments, you must show the employer the best you have.

6. Don’t rely on e-mail; pick up the phone and call people.
You should know by now that e-mail has severe limitations for communications. You can’t hear someone’s inflections over e-mail or his enthusiasm or lack thereof.

7. Don’t give up and decide to go to grad school.
Sure, graduate school is an option in tough times, but you need experience (and maybe some cash, too) and a first job or internship provides that opportunity.

8. Make a New Year’s resolution: Get ahead of the pack, stay there and land the job that others want through hard work, smart research and networking.

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