Just freaking apply.
Seriously. Go to the job portal of your choice and submit an application. Yes, your resume needs work. Yes, you could have more side projects. Yes, your existing side projects could be better. None of those are reasons to postpone applying.
I’ve explained why it’s important to apply early for internships. Companies all compete for the same pool of interns and therefore try to hire earlier than their competitors. That leads to spots filling up early and less opportunities for late applicants. For jobs it’s no different. In fact it’s worse because with jobs you’re applying for a select few openings.
Plus, what’s the plan here? You magically make your application significantly better in the next few weeks? Let’s get real here. That’s not gonna happen. Even if it does, you’re applying later and that is certainly worse for your application.
What’s even worse is that you’re probably gonna to forget to apply. Then when you remember, you’ll submit your application a few weeks later, it’ll be too late and you’ll get autorejected.
It’s very frustrating when I’m advising someone who’s already not confident about their application; they procrastinate applying; they apply late; get autorejected; become even more discouraged. It’s really not about their application. It’s about timelines and pipelines.
It’s also not that hard to fill out applications. Realistically it takes 5-10 minutes, especially if you’ve gotten good at them. Even if you get those annoying applications with short answers that give you flashbacks to college applications, you can knock those out in half an hour. The trick is to not care that much about what you write. This isn’t your Harvard app. You can write the 250 word answer, give it a quick look over and submit. You’re also likely a better writer than you were in high school. It’ll be okay.
If you’re applying for your first job, you should apply to 5 places a day. Yes, that’s a lot. But it’s a numbers game. You’re not gonna get a response from the majority of places. And what’s the worse case scenario here? You get too many responses? As if.
I know, applications suck. They’re boring, require inventing nice sounding reasons you want to work at a company and inevitably involve rejection. But you’re gonna have to get used to rejection if you want a career. Everybody gets rejected. I don’t know a single person who’s gotten into every place they’ve applied.
People get too precious about applications. They fantasize about working at the company; they obsess about their personal website or the specifics of a project; they think that only this company is the right one for them. They’re setting themselves up for disappointment.
We’d all love to be a genius like tourist, swatting away job offers from Google. But that’s not gonna happen. So…
Just freaking apply!