We’re coming up on graduation season, which is an exciting time for college students and their families. Embarking on a new career is a thrilling time in your life and one that should be both fulfilling and exciting.
Of course, along with the excitement of graduation comes the nervousness around what’s next. How will you find a job? Will it pay your bills? What do I need to do next?
Stay calm and land a job.
New graduates are filled with a range of emotions as graduation nears. But take a deep breath. You have got this! These tips can help you land a great job in no time:
1. Think “socially.”
If you haven’t already, now’s the time to update your privacy settings on Facebook, TikTok, Snapchat, and other social networks. Most employers will look at your social profiles when vetting candidates. Whether you have posts, pictures or other material that you’re nervous about or not, it is good business sense to keep your private life, private when it comes to your online profiles.
And when it comes to professional social networking, now’s the perfect time to update your LinkedIn profile. Add any work experience, projects, internships (see below) or other relevant experience. Ask bosses, professors and others for recommendations that speak to your specific skills in your desired career path and invest in a professional-looking photograph if you don’t have one already. For more tips to help boost your LInkedIn efforts, check out this blog post.
2. Embrace internships.
If you haven’t already, try to line up an internship for summer (you may even be able to score a short internship in late spring). Real-world experience is still a great way to either land a job directly (through your internship employer) or to impress recruiters when you go out on your own.
Look for opportunities that align with your desired career path, and will give you hands-on experience in the types of tasks you may be tackling in an entry-level role in that field.
And as noted above, be sure to ask any supervisors or colleagues from your internship for LinkedIn recommendations — these can go a long way toward impressing recruiters and employers.
3. Write your story.
Today, employers in any industry value the power of storytelling. It’s used in marketing, sales, and to make human connection in every industry and role. In your job search, your ability to tell stories — and not simply answer questions — will help you stand out tremendously from other candidates vying for the same positions.
What does it mean to think about and write your story? Here are some questions to start considering:
> Why did you choose your major?
> Did you change majors in college? Why?
> What drives you toward your intended career path?
> What personality traits and life experiences have shaped you as a professional?
Then, put these answers together and weave one or two paragraphs. Remember what’s most important and get comfortable talking about it so that you can authentically share your story in interviews (without sounding rehearsed). Leverage your story on your LinkedIn profile (see above) and your resume or cover letter wherever possible.
4. Have a plan.
“Get out there and apply to jobs,” may seem like your next step, but the reality of post-graduation job searching merits more consideration. You’ll be one in a million if you simply head to common job boards and start blasting out your resume.
It’s time to get strategic.
Map out a plan to help you accomplish your goal. “Find a job” is an OK start, but get more granular. Is your ideal job in a certain industry? Location? Does it have 1,000 employees or 100? How much does it pay?
Define these and other factors that matter to you. Then, look at your experience and network and lay out the best path toward landing an entry-level job with that ideal employer. Maybe it starts with engaging with leadership on social media and going to networking events where they present or are a sponsor.
Perhaps you have resources in your network who can make an introduction — identify who those people are and craft detailed, personalized messages for outreach.
If you don’t have quite the requirements needed for your dream job at this point, lay out a plan to help you get that experience.
But you have to think and plan. Write it out. Define what needs to be done. Then, every day between graduation and your first day at the new job, take action.
If you’re struggling with defining and taking action on a plan, partnering with a recruiting firm can make a massive difference. Not only can they help you best position your skills and experience, they often work with a range of top employers in your desired field. They can help you understand what employers are seeking, and help you create a plan to fill in any gaps in order to land your dream job.
Regardless of how exactly you do it, though, you need a plan.
We’ll help you find your dream job.
Every day, we help professionals across the country land their dream jobs with top employers. To learn more about our current opportunities, check out our job board. Or, contact a recruiter to discuss your goals.