Land your First Job

College Grad Job Search – References

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Graduation may be just around the corner. Or maybe you’ve already graduated and are looking for a job. Whatever the reason, you should be prepared to have everything you need for your job search.

Job search for recent college grads is a bit more challenging than those who have several years of experience.  Any help you can get that puts your application to the top of the pile certainly helps.  This post focuses on References and Thank You letters, both of which are key components of any job search.

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References

Most, if not all hiring managers will ask for references during the hiring process. Your references should be “pre-screened”.  This means that your references are onboard with providing positive references.  The worst thing you can do is to give a reference without speaking with them first (or knowing what they will say about you).

Any advice you can get during your job search that puts your application to the top of the pile certainly helps.

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What you need to understand about references:

  • Most, if not all, employers ask for and check references.
  • Ensure you’ve asked your references if it is okay to use them as references.
  • Do you know if they will say positive things about you?  This is obviously key.
  • Ensure your references know when you’ve given out their names as well as the detail on the company and position.
  • Your references should preferably be former managers/supervisors or other individuals who are familiar with the work you do.
  • Keep a list of references (5 or more would be ideal).  While a company generally asks for two or three references, you may want to pick and choose based on the opportunity.
  • Have all of the details on your references handy.  This includes title, the company where they work, their phone number as well as an email address.

“Job search by divine intervention generally doesn’t work and, at the end of the day, it’s all about getting things done. You can be an expert on a topic or have the best resume and experience in the world but if you don’t execute it doesn’t really matter.” – College Grad Job Search – Are You Prepared?

Thank You Letters

You may think that thank you notes are “old school”, but they are not.  While a generic thank you note is a waste of time, a targeted thank you note can make all of the difference in you getting to the next round in your interview process. What, exactly, is a “targeted thank you note”? A targeted thank you note is a note that lets the interviewer(s) know that you listened during the interview (by repeating some of what you discussed) and it’s your opportunity to remind the interviewer why you are the best person for the job.

Why you should send a thank you note

  • Demonstration that you have social skills.
  • It’s the opportunity to showcase a skillset (writing) that is important for most jobs.
  • It provides an opportunity for you to express your interest in the position
  • Allows you to show appreciation for being considered.
  • You can use your Thank You note as an opportunity to add something you may have forgotten to say or ask.
  • Following up with the hiring manager keeps your name current. It’s important that you remind the hiring manager that you are interested.

Photo by Nathaniel Shuman on Unsplash

Thank You Letter Examples:

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Suggested Reading – Thank You Letters:

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