Four Major Mistakes that Students Make in the Job/Internship Search

Posted 14th November 2017

Alexandra Tambellini is a Career Counselor at Carnegie Mellon University Heinz College where she advises students pursuing a Master of Information Systems Management degree. She shares four major mistakes that students make in their job/ internship search:

1. Ignoring networking as a tool in the job search

Networking is an important part of any job/internship search. A network contact can make the difference in whether or not a CV/resume is ever seen by any employer. Sometimes students think they can ignore networking since it can feel awkward or uncomfortable. However, if you aren’t networking then you are missing out on a VERY important tool in the job search.

2. Not strategically customizing application materials

Ultimately, in any job/internship search, you must send lots of applications in order to get some return interest. However, sometimes students make the mistake of mass sending the same CV/resume without any customization or tailoring. When employers review a CV/resume for a position, they are assessing the candidate's fit for the specific role. For this reason, it’s very important to customize your CV/resume to highlight strategic elements that show you are a strong fit for the role.

3. Letting discouragement with the search process impact current effort

The job/internship search is a rough process for most of us (excluding the very few who get their job/internship with ease!) where we must submit many applications and receive much less return interest. For this reason, it’s important for students to understand that this is a feature of the process and not allow discouragement in the search itself to impact current efforts. It can be tempting to want to pull back from the search efforts if we feel that it is not effective. I advise students not to allow this kind of thinking to hold them back!

4. Not asking for help when things aren’t going well

When students feel that the job/internship search isn’t going well or that something might be holding them back in their search, they should ask their career advisor!! Career Advisors are experts in figuring out what might be impacting a job/internship search negatively and can help catch a problem(s) before it impacts too much of the search. I advise students: Don’t hesitate to reach-out when you feel that things aren’t going well!

Alexandra Tambellini visits the Adelaide campus every year. You can reach her on LinkedIn at