As graduates take off their cap and gowns, they are faced with the reality of a difficult job market that appears to be a story of the “Haves” and the “Have-nots”. Some of the recent grads have already gotten a job, while many have not. Is it that the ones who are employed are smarter or more talented? Or are they just more connected and lucky?
One never knows for sure why some of recent grads land a job quicker than others or if they have worked harder to get a position, but there are some steps you can take as a recent graduate to insure you get a job sooner than later!
Here are (5) tips when looking for your first real job out of college:
1.) Make sure your résumé has something on it besides a Mission statement or objective. Every great résumé tells a story about who you are, what your skills are and special attributes that can add value to a potential employer. List all of the internships, part-time employment and volunteer work you have be involved in during the last six years, including your last two years of high school. Employers want to know what your interests are and the type of environments you have worked in. Make sure that there are absolutely no spelling or grammatical errors on your resume.
2.) Write a paragraph summary of who you are and what skills you bring to the table. This will be used in your e-mail introductions and incorporated into your cover letter.
3.) Clean up your Facebook page and any other social media sites that you used in college. Really, no one wants to see you pounding down drinks and a close up photo of the BBQ wings you had for dinner. Employers do look at your Face book & Twitter page to get a snapshot of what you are like, so use these sites with caution.
4.) Learn how to use Linked In as your number one career resource. It is one of the best kept secrets in the social media space that is your greatest asset when you are looking for a job. Set up your account in a professional manner and insert a professional photo, join groups related to your major and start making comments in the industry-related groups. Look at the jobs offered in these groups and post your résumé on the job boards.
5.) One advantage you have being a recent graduate is that older, more experienced executives like to mentor younger people. This is the time to use this to your advantage to create your own “Mentor Board of Directors” in your given field. Select leaders in your industry and ask them if they would help mentor you in the industry. Ask if they will meet you for coffee and never, I repeat never, ask these people for a job. This is not about getting a job from them; it’s about building your contact database and referral network in the industry you believe you want to work in and to learn more about where and what you should be doing in your career.
Follow these tips and you will be on your way to getting a job. Remember to always be on-time for an interview, to get your shoes shined and to remember to smile! How you begin your career journey matters, make sure you are off to the right start!