Job Search Tips Every Graduate Should Know
You’ve done your time slaving away at that minimum wage, non-major related, part-time college job that barely makes enough to pay your rent. When graduation starts looming in the future, it’s time to start the search for your first real job.
Finding your first professional job is difficult to say the least. It’s overwhelming and scary; you’ve never done this before, so how are you supposed to know where to start? We’ve done our own research, and have found simple ways you can become the best prepared candidate for your first real job hunt.
Manage Your Time Wisely
Time is essential when searching for your first job because there is a deadline for every application, so if you don’t act fast, you may miss a big opportunity.
Buy a calendar or planner and use it to stay on top of job fairs, application deadlines and interviews. Having everything organized and written down in one place will save you both time and your sanity. Set aside two to four hours or more a week to use for job searches and filling out applications. It is also important to check your emails daily and respond to any interested employer promptly.
Organize and Prepare Interview Essentials
Nothing puts you more behind than not having things ready when you get a job lead. Having to scramble last-minute to prepare can make you seem sloppy and is an easy way to overlook something important. So before you even think about hitting the Google search page, have your interview essentials covered. Essentials vary but usually include:
- Having an interview outfit picked out and ready to go
- Practice being interviewed to become more comfortable with possible questions
- Having supplies ready such as a nice pen, folders to hold your paperwork and resume, a notepad and personalized business cards
- Do research about the field you’re applying for and know what specific skills are in high demand
Some essentials will differ depending on the type of job and field you are applying for, but a resume is a must for everyone. The best way to go about a resume is to build an “overall” resume of your skills and edit it for each particular job. This leads us to the next point.
Preparing a Resume
Resume styles vary, but be sure to cover the basics. A resume should include your contact information, education, job experience, internships, activities and leadership or team experiences all neatly listed.
An easy way to start is to find a template online you feel would work, download it and insert your information. Once you have your base resume completed, you can tailor it to each job by highlighting your strengths for that particular job.
Another great tip is to use words in your resume that the company uses in the job description. Somewhere along the lines college should have taught you research skills, so use them and look into the company and try to use their tone and lingo in your resume to gain bonus points. Employers love it when potential employees have at least some type of knowledge about their company. The more you know about the employer the more impressed they will be.
Starting the Search
Once you have done the essential preparations and have a finished resume, how do you find the jobs to apply to? If you’re attending college, make sure you use all the career services first. Talk to your counselor to find out if your school has any type of career placement programs or job openings lists. Because colleges pride themselves in student job placement, it matters to them if you find a job or not, so let them help you as much as possible.
After you’ve exhausted all school resources, do not stop searching! Your next step is your social network and the internet. This can seem like an overwhelming and time-consuming way to search for a job, but fear not! In our next article we will learn how to search the internet for great available jobs.