For the recent college graduate
9 steps to ensure you find work after College:
- Have the right mentality. Companies open positions because they need someone to come in and fill in the gap. You need to prove why you are the person who can solve their problem. When the person in charge of hiring looks at your resume and cover letter, he/she wants to see why you would be the best fit. Be sure you are reading the job description carefully. Adjust your resume and cover letter to hit key words the company is looking for. Always remember to adjust your resume to the position you are applying for.
- Take a good look at your social media sites. Don’t be naïve enough to think employers aren’t searching for you online. Having a site you wouldn’t be ashamed of is a high priority.
- Don’t sabotage yourself. Never go into an interview and say “ I know I’m not qualified for this position, but…”. Never explain why you aren’t qualified for a position, instead list off ways you are qualified for the position. Always speak to your strengths.
- Network, Network, Network! Finding someone who can mentor you is huge! Don’t be afraid to network with other alumni who are working in your field of interest. Keep in mind that you aren’t reaching out to these people in hopes they just hand you a job, but instead that they impart some useful knowledge unto you.
- Build your personal brand: Use social media as a strength, instead of something that could hinder you from getting a job. Follow companies that you want to be a part of, interact with things they post. Use LinkedIn to share your personal achievements. If you are striving for a creative career, consider using a blog or Pinterest to showcase your work.
- Practice, and then practice some more! Anytime you have an interview scheduled, you should practice your response to questions they may ask. Find a friend or family member and have them conduct a mock interview for you. Keep in mind that you don’t want to come off rehearsed, but you don’t want to spend too long thinking about how you will answer a question once it’s asked. Know your resume backwards and forwards. Spend time learning how to describe your skill set.
- Research!! Find out as much about the company you are applying for as possible. Nothing is more enticing to a potential employer than you knowing about the company. By doing so you are showing the company that you value their time and would love to be a part of the company.
- Ask questions- when you go into an interview they will always check to see if you have any questions. Don’t ask questions that show you haven’t done your research, instead turn the question into a learning opportunity. You will spend the majority of your time at this job, so ask questions to ensure you are picking a place that is the right fit for you.
- Prep your references: always ask for permission before you list someone as a reference. Make sure your references are diverse. Include a former professor, a supervisor from an internship, or a former employer. Hiring managers love to see a vast diversity!
Be yourself! Show some personality during your interview. Keep it professional, but don’t be afraid to show them who you really are!
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