Landing your dream job or internship

Sarina is a junior at Marymount Manhattan College majoring in Communication Arts and minoring in Journalism.

When I entered about.me’s internship contest, I never thought in a million years that I would land the spot for the AOL Video position. I’ve enjoyed using my about.me page to show employers something other than a typical, boring resume. However, when I realized I could use my page to enter the contest, I was excited and motivated. Luckily I had amazing family, friends, and even strangers help me throughout the process. But, I also realized that without my own hard work, dedication, and patience throughout this year and the entire process, I wouldn’t be where I’m standing.

Since winning the internship, I’ve thought hard about the steps I took to make it to where I’m at today. So, I’ve decided to give out a few tips on how to land your dream job or internship.

  • Patience is a virtue – Honestly, this is a big one when it comes to finding an internship or job, especially in a big city. If you don’t land it the first time, there are plenty of other opportunities. Don’t think of not receiving something as a turn down, but motivation and preparation for bigger and better things.
  • Apply, Apply, Apply! – Keep in contact after you apply, stay on it. If it’s a position you really want, eventually they will see how enthusiastic you are about it. Even if it means stopping by once a week to check on an application status, do it!
  • Promote yourselfAbout.me, Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, QR Codes, Business Cards, Blogs: all are great ways to get employers to notice you. The more positive things linked to your name that they can research, the better. Get noticed and stand in your spotlight, nothing can hide you in the shadows but yourself!

  • Get out of your comfort zone – Keep busy with what it is that you do, but in new ways. If you find yourself lacking creativity for your portfolio work, take a break. Talk to strangers; go do something new and exciting. New experiences equal new material to work with. Let something inspire you or get up and inspire yourself some way. Either way, what do you have to lose? Plus, employers will like your versatility of creative output and see your ability to solve problems through bumps in the road.
  • Always be honest with yourself and others – If you cannot uphold duties asked of you, don’t risk it. Be honest. Apply for things you love even if you’re not 100% great at it. Be enthusiastic and stick with it. If you don’t have the necessary skill set, explain how you are willing to learn and adapt. Employers will be more than willing to work with you if you’re honest and up front.

I can only give some tips, but take this last one in stride: believe in yourself. Having confidence in yourself will not only come across to others, but will get you through any obstacles you face. It’s all about believing in yourself and your dreams.

Also don’t forget to thank those who’ve helped you along the way! Without the help of about.me, Lauren Bloch, Ealz and the programming team at AOL Video, and of course my family and friends for voting, none of this would truly be possible. I wish you the best of luck in landing your dream positions.

Just remember: nothing is too far out of reach, always keep dreaming and believing!

Bella Italia

Our next stop ’round the world is with Italy (and Italians).

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Your about.me page = an awesome free business card

One of the sweet features of about.me is the ability to turn your page into a kick-ass business card for free.

To claim this offer, which is made possible via our friends at MOO, go to your Dashboard and click ‘Offers.’ It’s a pretty easy process from there on out. We’ll ask you to let us access MOO so your business cards will resemble your about.me page.

After a few clicks your browser will look a little something like this…

You can add more images, edit your current image, and basically do whatever you want with it – go crazy. 🙂 Click “flip cards over” to edit your contact info.

Once you feel like your cards are worthy of attaching your name to it, go ahead and click ‘next step’ and follow the rest of the prompted instructions. You’ll be asked what type of cards you want and some shipping information.

Pretty soon you’ll be the proud new owner of 50 dynamic business cards that make you like the biggest boss that anyone has seen thus far.

Winning the internship of my dreams

Natalie Kyong Swope is a senior at the University of California, Davis where she majors in computer engineering and minors in technology management.

When I first created my about.me page, it was not because I thought I would win a contest. For the past two years, I’ve held a passion for technology and networking online. I am confident to say that I have explored nearly every service, social, and resourceful web page out there. I spent Saturday nights on my computer – whether I was blogging on my “Learn Techno Logic” blog, creating page templates on my Bamboo, or browsing any free software uploads I could find– I was growing. For what cause? At the time I had no idea.

After entering the about.me contest in April, I decided to check for updates. To my surprise, I had a message in the right corner of my screen from the contest update notification. I was in the top 5%! I couldn’t believe it. I was ecstatic! To me, that message in the corner of my screen was like my own personal coach warning me to pick up speed and go for it. So, I didn’t stop at Facebook. Or Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Foursquare, Flickr or Posterous.

I started thinking of new ways to promote my about.me page and new audiences I could discover. Social networking was no longer the only option because I had promoted myself on every site. I’ve always loved the idea of QR codes and found it curious that they haven’t been used more frequently. I made a QR template (which took hours) and planned different ways of using it. My first strategy was to spray paint my code template on shirts and hand them out to my friends and sorority sisters.

While online searching for QR items, I was redirected to a site that created stamps and sold ink pads as well. The prices weren’t very high, so I ordered 1 QR stamp and 1 pad of purple to be expressed mailed to my home in Davis. I decided to print stickers too. Hundreds of stickers that I cut out and stuck in random places.

One morning, I went to Michaels and purchased cake batter, cupcake decorations and icing. I went home and made 88 cupcakes that night. The next day I found the site, http://sweetntreats.com, and immediately ordered as many custom cupcake toppers as I could afford. My custom order was a picture of my QR code centered within each topper. When I received them, I stuck them on my pre-iced treats and distributed them.

The house I lived in at UC Davis frequently hosted mixers or BBQs for our friends or chapter. I displayed my Moo.com business cards (with my about.me address included) by the speakers. Each card had a different painting or picture I made. People noticed them, and asked me if they could take some. I was more than happy to give them away and encouraged everyone to vote. I also left my stamp and stamp pad out.

Throughout my campaign, I made sure I was still sticking to my normal, college-life routine. I continued to blog, attend my classes and write articles for HackCollege.com. I tried to keep myself distracted, but the contest eventually ended and I would get nervous as the days passed and my phone remained silent.

The call finally came, and I was a nervous wreck. I talked to Jesse Chambers, the Director of Sales Operations & Monetization for AOL Tech (including TechCrunch, Engadget, TUAW and Joystiq). We ended up having a long but interesting discussion about a bunch of things. Some topics were about my passion for technology and reason for wanting the position, my experience and degree challenges, and my future plans (even though my plans are more like a rough, almost non-existent outline). When I hung up the phone, I felt great. I talked to a really nice, easygoing person and had a noteworthy discussion.

When I was informed that I, Natalie Kyong Swope, won the contest and a summer internship with TechCrunch… I still can’t find the words to express the excitement pouring over me. I was, to say the least, extremely thankful. I was proud of myself and grateful for both Jesse and Caitlin Geraghty (HR for AOL) for presenting me with the news. I actually want to let them know now that this opportunity means the world for me and I want to thank you both for treating me so nicely! I won’t let you down over the next 3 months – I promise!

Justified updates

We’re excited to offer a few updates to your Background positions. In addition to Scale, Center and Tile, you can now set your Background to Left or Right align.

Head to your Edit Your Page view to try out the different position options at the Backgrounds tab.

So if you have an amazing picture running a half marathon in Walt Disney World with your best friend, or really, any cool picture – you can add it and align it to the left or right side of the screen.

As an added bonus, we’ve made the entire bio box draggable, so placing your text is even easier. Add your page URL to the comments here if you’ve Right or Left aligned your image!

Pop!

Search for “pop” on about.me and you’ll discover dozens of musicians and bands to explore. Some, like Henna Lacabanne are singers, dancers and artists.

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Hello fathers!

Happy Fathers Day to dads everywhere! We have dads representing from all over, starting with Doug, above.

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