Job Hunt Tips For Upcoming Grads
From personal experience, I know how difficult it is to jump into the job market after graduating from college (during a pandemic). I wanted to share some of the tips I learned during my own stressful experience to make the transition more comfortable for you. Here are some of the essential tips I learned last May that you could use today:
1. Start Early
The most important tip of advice for entering the job market as a recent graduate is to start early. I made the mistake of waiting too long, making it stressful after I graduated. Begin your job hunt early so that you have more options, more exposure, and more learning experiences.
2. Create A Game Plan
Next, you need to create a game plan. In this game plan, you need to know what you are looking for in a job, what kind of jobs you are interested in, cities you would be willing to move to, how your past experiences can help your job search, etc. This game plan doesn't need to be set in stone, but it will give you a lot of guidance as you apply for jobs.
3. Use Free Resources
Once you have your game plan written down or in your mind, it's time to start researching and upping your game. Instead of spending money you don't have, use free resources. These free resources will give you quite a bit to go off of, making it easier later down the line. Here are some of the most important free resources to utilize:
- Career Paths: Vault; The Muse; Career Services at your school
- Research: CareerBliss; Glassdoor; Hoovers; Career Services at your school
- Salary: PayScale; com
- Networking: LinkedIn
- Job Postings: com; LinkedIn; Monster Jobs
4. Update Your Resume And Find References
Now that you have started looking at resources and job listings online, it's time to update your resume and find references. As for your resume, you should tailor it every time you apply for a job. Having an updated base version will make the task a whole lot easier when you go to apply.
Make sure to list any relevant jobs, interning, or volunteering experience. Just because an experience is not paid does not mean it should not go on your resume. Put down anything that is relevant to the job you are applying for. It shows that you have some sort of practical skill that relates to the position.
References are an important part of applying to jobs. Your connections can be a past employer or a professor. Instead of slapping references down on your applications, talk to potential references first. Ask them if they feel comfortable as a reference. If they say no, find another reference.
5. See Your School's Career Service
Once you have started researching, looking at jobs, and updating your resume, visit your school's career service. This service is free to students at your University. Take advantage of it. They will be able to look over your resume and give any editing tips or ideas.
Additionally, most career services offer interview preparation. Interviewing is very stressful for a lot of college graduates because they have never undergone the process before. Practice interviewing face to face using your career services.
6. Put Yourself Out There
Finally, don't be afraid to put yourself out there. Apply to any job that you feel interested in. Even if it seems out of your comfort zone, apply for it anyway. You never know if you have what the employers are looking for. In the case that you get turned down, be polite, thank the interviewer for their time, and learn from the experience.
Getting a job after college is stressful enough, let alone during a pandemic. Start now so that you have a better chance of landing your post-graduation dream job.