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Finding your first job after college can be a daunting task. Many college grads are astounded by the minimum 3 to 5 years of experience expected for most positions, while others find that an entry-level salary in their field won’t pay the bills. Both groups hit obstacles when long lists of
The best chance you have at landing a job in your industry once you've graduated is to plan and launch a job search campaign. It's much easier to find a job when you know what you're looking for.Tweet This
If you are still in college (even if you are a Senior) there are still many things you can do to improve your chances of getting a
Job Search Checklist
Current unemployment rates for college grads can run as high as 13% for some majors and as low as 5% for others. Even on the high end, that still means that 87% of college grads have found a
The best chance you have at landing a
Create or Update Your Resume
If you already have a resume, great, just update it. If you don’t have a resume yet, you will (obviously) need to create one. There are lots of styles and formats and much depends on any experience you already have (like internships). Experience is important, but your first resume should focus on your college career as well.
See how your resume stacks up! Our resume review will include three sections: (a) strengths of your resume, (b) areas to improve, and (c) the results of an ATS scan.
Knowing how to market yourself to each potential employer is just as important as ensuring your skills and qualifications are included on your resume. But it’s hard to create a beefy resume without any practical
Senior students and recent grads can visit their school or alma mater’s career center for free resume help. College career centers regularly help students with little-to-no-related
If you are a Junior or Senior, it’s not too late to do a summer internship (which will add tremendous value to your resume). As a Senior, unless you already have a
Where Do You Want to Work?
You need to know where you want to work- country, city, state, etc. You probably already have an idea where you want to work and it is probably based on where you went to school, where you grew up, or where a significant other might be located. So you will need to research a few things before finding your first
If you already know where you want to work, do some research on the companies that are located there and start to get some data on
Apply to your next job with confidence.
While other books focus only on crafting the perfect résumé or cover letter, the truth is, you need a strategy for the entire job application process.
A strategy that communicates your expereinces, achievements, and results in a way that provides value to hiring managers.
Who do You Want to Work For?
It helps to know which companies you want to work for. Depending on your profession, this may be someone easy (such as public accounting). Or, you may have a few “favorites” based on information from friends or relatives.
Whether or not you have picked your companies, you will need to research to answer questions like: “Are these good companies?”, “Do they pay competitively?”, “Are they profitable or in danger of going bankrupt?”, “Do they have jobs in my industry/functional role?”.
You should create a list of companies where you would like to work based on your knowledge of their corporate culture, products you admire or a good fit with your career choice.
Businesses and corporations intentionally recruit fresh blood and plan extensive training as part of the
Second of all, get qualified and certified
When seeking to become a personal trainer, you can’t just walk into the gym one day and decide to start coaching people and then expect them to pay you. No, you have to be properly qualified and certified in the field in order to get work as a personal trainer — if you don’t, you’ll forever just be that annoying know-it-all at the gym that is always trying to help people, even when they don’t ask or need it. You must have completed a personal training course.
Now’s the time to leverage all of those social network skills you have to help you find a job. Who do you know that is working for a company where you want to work? How do you get the word out that you are looking for a
These are all important questions and the answer is – your social networks. Sounds easy on the surface (and it really is), you just need to spend a little time “working” your networks.
There are a number of ways you can leverage your network using some basic networking concepts and methods.
You don’t have to have a Network of hundreds of people to have any hope of finding a
Think of networking as a way to advertise your skills. It’s important that you show how you’re a great candidate for jobs in your field, and a great way to do that is by starting a podcast. It’s free to start it on SoundCloud, and you can increase the scope of your networking if you get SoundCloud followers to view you as an expert in your field.
Don’t make excuses, create your network list and start putting it to work. Who to include on your network list:
- Former co-workers from internships and part-time jobs
- Teachers / Professors
- Friends of friends
You’ve got your list, but what about the best practice for networking? There are plenty of ideas out there, and most of them are good (and some of them are a bit wacky).
If you don’t get invited to interview, you got screened out of the job. This book will keep you from getting screened out and consistently put you on the short list of candidates who get to interview in person.
It’s never too soon to prepare for interviews and the questions you are likely to get asked will be somewhat different from the questions asked by experienced hires. Equally as important is having a good list of questions that you should ask.
A lack of questions is generally interpreted as a lack of interest (or failure to research the company). But interview questions are not the only thing you should research. You should research the company as well and be prepared to answer questions like – “Why do you want to work at XYZ company?”. Once you’ve secured an interview, you should also do some research on the interviewers (LinkedIn is a great source).
Having an awesome elevator pitch is so important. You never know who you may run into (and it doesn’t have to be in an elevator). Separate and apart from having an elevator pitch (just in case), the exercise helps you refine your thought process in terms of what you want to do. This can help you as a lead-in during an interview process as well.
College Career Office
College grads tend to underestimate the importance and value of college career offices. Besides the fact that they are staffed with individuals who have experience in helping college grads find their first
While taking an internship after graduation should generally be a “last choice”, internships are not only for college students and they can provide an important hands-on experience that will help you land your “paying”
One advantage recent grads have upon entering the
Students who were awarded financial aid during college may be able to plan ahead prior to graduation to receive an extra loan or grant money to help cover living expenses as they graduate and pursue an internship. Scholarships intended to help interns cover living expenses are available as well.
Working in Other Fields
Sometimes you need to take a detour from your original route. Roadblocks and missing roads may keep you from your selected career but think of it as a short-term change of plans. Eventually, you will get back on track.
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