A lot of graduates believe that once they receive their diploma, the job offers will start flying in. It is important for seniors to begin the search early. I am right now in my senior year at college and I have seen many friends graduate and then find themselves jobless and living with mom and dad. It can be very frustrating to have a degree with no job.
These following tips will help soon-to-be graduates find a job:
• Know What You Want
“You might think employers will appreciate your, “I’m willing to do or learn anything” approach to getting a job; however, most employers interpret that as “I’m desperate” or “I have no focus, so I’m just taking a shot at whatever I stumble across.”(Monster) Not only does knowing what you are looking for help you look more professional, but it helps you narrow down your search as well. You do not want to end up with a job that you do not like. If you just try to get anything, then there is a good chance that that is what you will be stuck with. So how do you figure out what you want?
• Get an Internship
What better way to figure out what job you want than to try out one? “Internships give you more than just on-the-job training; they often lead to a permanent position within the company. Even if you don’t land the job at your company, your experience will help your resume stand apart from other applicants.” (Movin’ on Up)
Internships show that you have already had on-the-job training; this makes an employer more comfortable in hiring you because they have confidence in your abilities to perform. This can also give you an edge over other applicants searching for the same job.
• Focus on Your Studies and Career
By taking your classes seriously and really researching your major, you can get an idea of the different jobs that are available and make yourself qualified for them. It would be embarrassing if a potential employer asked you something about your major, and you couldn’t answer it or had no idea what they were talking about. Joining major-specific clubs or groups will help you learn as well, and network.
If you have questions about different jobs that are available, you can always check in with your campus career center. “It’s also important to get career guidance. Get to know the staff personally and keep them abreast of your interests and goals. ‘Make it a point to be on a first-name basis with all the advisors,’ says Jones, whose staff has recommended graduating students to potential employers.” (BNET) There they can also help get your resume looking perfect.
• Preparing Your Resume
Even if you are the best candidate for the job, the employer will never know if you have a horrible resume. The resume is what gets you through the door for the interview. (If you are worried about the interview then make sure to check out my previous blog about interviewing.) There are many different resume templates that can be found online and through programs. Using these will give you a good start.
Some tips offered from groovejob.com are to, “Keep it short – one page, if possible. Be neat; make sure that you use bullet points when necessary. Be honest about your skills and work experience. Be concise and use action words (developed, handled, organized, created, etc) and phrases when describing your experience. Ask someone you trust to check over your resume and make sure that they really critique your work.”
You have the resume and you know what you want, so where do you begin to look???
• Where to Look
“The first place you should look for a job is with the contacts you have made during college, internships, or apprenticeships. You’ll often find that these contacts are just waiting for you to apply for a job or ask about employment.” (Exforsys Inc) The good thing about internships and apprenticeships is that these people know you. They can justify your work ethic and know that you can handle the job responsibilities. Even if the company you interned at does not have anything available for you, they can always give advice or maybe recommend you to another employer.
Take advantage of job fairs that your school has; they allow you to make new contacts and is also a great place to start. Once you have started with these, then you can move on to online websites such as: collegecentral.com, monster.com, careerbuilder.com, truecareers.com, and America’s Job Bank. If you are looking for other websites, then make sure to check out Career Overview. Also, never forget the old fashioned way of just picking up a newspaper and searching the classified section. You could be surprised what you will find.
Looking for your first job after graduation may take a while – so don’t get discouraged easily. Take your time and look carefully, and in the end you will find the job that you have been searching for.
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I have just begun this process. Does anyone have any tips, stories or problems that they want to share??? It would be a great help!!!!