Becoming a Professional!
By: Hesham Hussain
The job market will get better soon based on a lot of predictions and what I have seen out here in the bay area from friends and at the company I work for.
Just as a summary of some steps that could be taking to make you more marketable in the industry of the field that you are studying. It is all about connections and staying close to the industry by marketing yourself to the professional world.
1. A good Resume. Use samples of resumes at your college’s career center or meet with a person there to work on it. Ask friends of yours who work in any industry to take a look at it and let you know what they think. The resume should not be more than a page (students, new graduates, or recent graduates).
2. A nice cover letter, which is usually submitted with the resume when you apply for a job/internship. You can use it to target the specific job that you are applying for. No more than a page. Short, brief and to the point. A couple of paragraphs saying how much you’re interested in the job, what qualifies you for the job, why do you think you are a good candidate, and requesting to be given the opportunity.
3. Network with professionals in different industries
3.1. Join organizations at college and outside (students chapters and clubs). At least become a member and add your email to their email lists.
3.2. Attend professional conferences and meetings when possible
3.3. Ask professors about opportunities
3.4 Join professional networking websites like www.linkedin.com. Here you will see all of AAYSP national board members. You can get connected and apply for jobs through there. Also, know where people you know work for and so on. Also Facebook, even though it’s a social site, but it will keep you connected with your classmates. There are also job postings there.
3.5. People you know who are professionals, talk to them and make bridges here and there. Arabs, Muslims that you know of that are in your field of your study. Talk to them nicely and show interest to learn and contribute.
4. Applying for jobs/internships
4.1. Company websites. Find out companies that hire your field of study. Visit their sites and create profiles. For example, a lot of aaysp-ca members are in science field, most biotech companies of the world are in South San Francisco, so take advantage of that. Also see pharmaceutical companies and medical device companies. Ask around and google company profiles and industries.
4.2. Job applying websites:
Craig’s list (this one is good too) with Linkedin and facebook as well, and many others that you can come across
4.3. Your major’s department/professors should have something for this
4.4. The college career center should have this too.
I hope that this will help some of you when looking for a job/internship. It takes time, yes, but it’s worth it. There many out there like you who are looking for a job; you just have to be unique and different to be chosen. Please add to this discussion with your experience in this regard and share it with other so they can benefit.