Goodbye school, hello world! Gone are the days of staying up until 2 am writing essays. Here are the days of adulting and 40 hour work weeks. As you prepare to receive that long-awaited diploma, you may be wondering, now what?
With an ever-changing job market now affected by a global pandemic, finding a job after graduation is more daunting than ever before.
Here are 5 job search tips for new graduates to help you stand out and secure your first job offer:
1. BRAND YOURSELF
You are more than just your college diploma or university degree when you apply for a job. Employers are interested in the whole package of what you bring to a position, including your work experience, skills, work ethic, and personality. Before starting your job search, figure out what kind of candidate you are. What makes you stand out from the other applicants?
Take time to fine-tune your resume and cover letter for the industry you are applying to. Highlight the skills and experience that hiring managers will be looking for and do some research ahead of time if you are not sure. If applicable, take this time to prepare a portfolio to show prospective employers.
The job search market is predominantly online and the internet offers many ways to brand yourself as a potential candidate. If you work in a field suited to Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook, make sure you have a professional presence on those platforms. You can even create a branded website to display your resume and work experience. If you don’t do any of those, make sure you’ve set up a LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn is a great way to showcase your resume and experience as well as locate and connect with working professionals in your field. Your profile is your online professional persona and can be one of the best ways to secure your first job after graduation.
2. SET UP YOUR NETWORK
When it comes to job hunting, who you know can sometimes be just as important as what you know. Make sure you are always networking. You never know who you’re going to make an impression on and when they might refer you for a job opportunity.
Leverage your LinkedIn profile to build your professional network. Connect with past instructors and classmates, as well as professionals in your field. Engage in conversations with your network and businesses to put yourself in front of potential employers. Don’t be afraid to reach out to Human Resource Managers at companies you’re interested in working at. One quick message could be the beginning of the rest of your career.
3. CREATE A GAME PLAN
The old days of hitting the pavement and handing out resumes to every business you walk past are gone. Now there are thousands of job listings at your fingertips. Before you start applying to every job you see, come up with a plan. Set out some goals for what you want to achieve in this job and define what that job looks like. This will be your first job in your field, so you want to make sure you’re applying to jobs that will help further you and your career.
To be the first to know about new postings, sign up for online job sites such as Indeed, Monster, and ZipRecruiter and set up alerts for job titles or businesses you want to work at. Don’t forget to bookmark our Apply page or follow us to be aware of our latest job postings.
Always be proactive in your job search. You want to know what you’re looking for and where to find it so that when job opportunities are posted you’re ready to apply for them.
4. STAY POSITIVE
Once you’ve established your game plan, start applying for jobs. Don’t get discouraged if you hear radio silence or get a decline email. It doesn’t mean you weren’t qualified or skilled for the position, it just might mean you weren’t the candidate that specific employer was looking to hire. Stay positive and continue to apply to as many positions as you can find. If needed, adjust your resume and cover letter to help yourself stand out more. The right job will come your way.
5. NEVER STOP LEARNING
Just because you’ve graduated doesn’t mean you should stop being a student. Often employers are less interested in the specifics of your degree and more interested in the experience you bring to the table. You may be asking, but how do I get a job if I have no experience?
Experience doesn’t specifically have to be one to three years in a workplace. It can be internships, volunteer opportunities, freelance work, or personal projects. Find ways to create your own experience. This way you will always be learning in your field and at the same time growing your resume to help land that first job. You never know when something like an internship could turn into a full-time position.
We always have great entry-level positions across many job fields to help you gain experience in your career. Check out our Apply page or email firstname.lastname@example.org with your resume to connect with one of our recruiters.