Thanksgiving is almost here, so is the end of your last fall semester. Have you started your job search? Here are five key job search tips to help you land your first job after college!
1. RESEARCH: Finding a job is hard work. The job market is competitive and the search for job opportunities is time-consuming. Even after you discover a good opportunity, the movement from identification of the opening to actually getting the job requires many steps. Therefore it’s best to tackle the job search in the same way you would a final exam or paper. Allocate as much time to your job search as you would to an academic endeavor, commit yourself to achieving the greatest success you can in exploring and identifying opportunities, ace the interview, and receive an offer - that's the A+ in “job search” you are aiming for!
2. PREPARE: Experienced professionals unanimously agree that the most important factor in a job candidate's success is good preparation. What bothers professionals most when they meet with a student or job seeker is when it is clear the candidate hasn’t done any advance preparation. So make sure to carefully study your own résumé, explore the company website, keep up to date with relevant current events, and above all make sure to show your interviewer that you’ve done your homework!
3. PRACTICE: There’s an old joke that goes, "How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” And the answer is, "practice, practice, practice!” The same applies to the question, "How can I improve my interviewing skills?" The best way to hone your interview skills is to practice, practice, and practice some more. Almost everyone needs to practice to be an effective and successful interviewee. Most people are not naturally gifted public speakers. It's only through endless practice that people become good or even great speakers. The same applies to interviewing. How can you practice? Sign up for mock interview sessions offered by your college or ask a friend to interview you. Create hypothetical questions that might be asked at an interview and answer them out loud. Practicing out loud is key. Practice your opening lines to common interview questions such as "tell us about yourself" or "walk me through your résumé." With practice you’ll become a poised, relaxed, and confident interviewee ready to nail the interview!
4. UPDATE & REVISE: You finished another semester and one or more of the following occurred: your GPA went up; you took a course relevant to the career you hope to pursue; you wrote a great research paper; you did volunteer work; you were elected to a position as an officer of a club. Did you update your résumé to reflect these changes? Maybe you moved, have a new email address, or a new phone number. Time to revise that résumé! You forgot that you had received an honor last year or found a better phrase to describe the responsibilities you had at your last summer job. Revise the old information now! Updating and revising your résumé is something you should be doing regularly to accurately reflect vital information, as well as to further improve and refine your résumé. We can help you with your résumé check our résumé builder and résumé resources to build better résumés.
5. NETWORK: Students often tell us that they “don't have a network." What is a network? A college student's network can be pretty extensive, including family, neighbors, and friends, as well as teachers, classmates, college administrators and alumni. And that's just for starters! What is the purpose of a network? Your network is your support system and information resource. “Networking” is simply utilizing, activating, and growing that support and information system. Whether you ask someone to listen to you as you practice your pitch, get another set of eyes to review your résumé, or learn about a friend’s company or why a person does what they do, each person in your network can help you in this case with your job search. It’s great to have a network to ask for help, but remember that helping you is only one part of how a network works. It is not just about what my network can do for me, it's about helping, listening and being supportive of those in your network too. A network is a two way street. Networks require nurturing and take time to develop and build.
We’ll review more tips in the New Year!