Recruiters' Tips: Internships. The First Step to Building The DevCon Career You Want.
Let’s talk Internships for a minute. One thing that becomes a bit of a pet peeve as a leading recruiter in the real estate development, construction and architecture industries is the 1-3 year experienced candidate who feels they should have a massive bump in their salary to make a move just because their friends are making more. We see this all the time and I always have to take time out of my day to bring these individuals to Gillian University. Never compare what you’re making to what your friends are earning. You’re an adult now and no one wants to hear you speak that way. Focus on industry trends and where the market is on average for your position. Granted it might mean the same thing as far as a salary bump, but it sounds a whole lot more professional when brought up using the latter as your reasoning.
There will always be those making more and those making less. Those that are making more with the a very similar skill level (at first blush) probably did one of two things:
- Negotiated well straight out of school. That happened to me when I took my first Project Management job; back then I didn’t understand that you could indeed negotiate (a little) coming through the door in your first job. I learned quickly that a guy hired straight out of school, just like me, was earning 5K more on his base salary. I was really mad at myself. I just figured you’d take what anyone was willing to give you at that level. So remember you can negotiate BUT you have to be reasonable. No one wants to hire a cocky kid. So do your homework on what positions are actually going for. If you’re going for the high end then you better have item #2.
- INTERNSHIPS!!! I love a candidate with a strong internship background. I worked all the way through college. I was studying mechanical engineering, but I wasn’t really sure what direction I wanted to take my degree. During the summers I took classes and served beers and burgers. What did that do for me as a graduate looking for a jobs. Well the beers and burgers gig did nothing to impress my potential employers. Those I competed with were landing jobs quickly and able to negotiate betters salaries because they spent their summers interning with various design and construction companies. You don’t need to know exactly what you want to do with your life but if you’re in a curriculum that services various businesses then look at those business and take an internship. If you’re lucky enough to enjoy what you’re doing then keep at it until you graduate. Once you hit the job market you’ll have months if not years of experience ahead of those that don’t and therefore you can negotiate some coming through the door and it doesn’t stop there. Having internships under your belt is always admired as your progress in your career.
Don’t worry, internships are rarely 40hr a week positions so you can still have some fun between semesters
Gillian Executive Search is a leader in recruiting Real Estate Construction, Development, Architecture and other related fields.