So, you're graduating soon. But when you're done with that milestone, don't think your work is over just yet. It's time to start thinking about the things that will come next. The most important of those things will be landing a job! And while doing sending out your resumes before graduation might seem premature, being early to the party does have its benefits.
In this article are tips you should consider when you are in the process of job applications before you graduate from college.
First Come First Served
Even if you've filled out a resume and included all your work experiences and extracurricular activities, you're not guaranteed to get a job. It's not just all about filling out the application; you're going to have to go through an interview process too. Applicants who submit the documents early are considered first. Consequentially, they get invited to interviews first as well.
Know Your Job Hunt Options
The typical options students fresh out of school have to job hunt is to follow their friends, or job search online. Little do they know that job opportunities are also available through their own school (via the career services department or through a career counselor), annual student job fairs, and networking on LinkedIn. Further to this, a more obscure way of landing a job is through word of mouth. Make use of your parent's connections to get a first real job - you could be working for a family friend for a start.
Advantages as A Fresh Grad
Fresh out of college, your young age makes you malleable. That's to your advantage. Companies that are looking for someone quick on their feet, with energy and drive will be happy to hire you. Your freshness through inexperience makes you more receptive to the company's culture and more often than not, such new hires will try their utmost best to prove themselves in the workplace - often outperforming their colleagues. These are the qualities that potential employers want and need right now - don't sell yourself short because you're a fresh grad!
Skills and talents of the new gen (YOU!) differeniate you. Compile your unique traits not only to apply to be someone else's employee, but to also explore other money making opportunities.
Identifying Hot Jobs & Sunrise Industries
During your job search, you should be focused on jobs that are up-and-coming. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job growth rate is currently at 2%, and 11 out of 20 fastest-growing industries are healthcare-related.
You can learn about the popular jobs and sectors by doing your own research or talking to an alumnus who work in a related field. You can also look for stock market trends to see which fields will boom in the coming years, such as green energy and technology.
You may want to explore fast growing, non-traditional jobs.
Finding work in these fields will give you an edge over the other applicants over the long term as companies need them (a.k.a. demand) and you have begun early to incorporate the experience into your professional career.
Seek Internship Opportunities
For college students who are in the final stretch of their degree program, an internship offers an excellent real-world experience that is often not found in the classroom. It will help you make valuable connections and allow you to identify the career path you truly want to pursue. In the words of the American Bar Association's recent report, "Internships are a means for students to gain valuable work experience in fields of interest during the academic and professional preparation years. Students who successfully complete internships are more likely to graduate, but also have greater job placement success."
Check out programs that provide paid or volunteer opportunities at nonprofit organizations or government agencies where they may be needed. You can get ideas by reading up on your university's bulletin boards or checking websites such as LinkedIn and Monster.
Read Up on Companies with the Most Appeal to You
Find out about the companies' culture, its work environment, type of work it does, and who you report to if you were hired. These details substantiate your desire to work for those companies and helps you set expectations if you're hired. You must understand that you've got to like the job and what your bosses stand for, because you are going to work there full-time; half your waking hours are spent around these people and their ideas!
To get additional information on a particular company, search the internet for news articles and feedback from its current employees. This will let you know if the company is going through any negative changes (such as an upcoming merger or phasing out of certain departments) that might affect your decision to work there. Doing these things can help you feel confident and secure in your job search before you graduate.
Go For The Low Hanging Fruits
So, you've been looking for jobs and noticed that some certain departments don't seem to be hiring. That's not a big deal if you're just applying to get a foot in the door of a company that you're interested in. However, if they don't have any openings, keep looking!
Take baby steps and get an internship or two until a position opens up. You can always transfer into that department should you not find an opening in your preferred area of interest. Alternatively, find companies who are quick-to-hire and have many available positions so you at least are employed and earn a decent income whilst searching for your dream job.
Caveat! Even though you are going for the easier opportunity, don't be supressed to accept a lower pay; for a first job, you should still negotiate for a reasonable paycheck.
Tailor Your Resume to the Job
Your resume should be tailored to each job you apply for. Don't have the same old resume for every position because it's a waste of time if the content does not match the job description. If you're applying for a job as a research assistant, mention specific tasks that will show that you are capable of doing them. Don't go over the top though - keep your resume brief and to the point.
Don't Go Overboard with the Cover Letter
It's also okay to send generic cover letters for positions that you're really interested in, but do not overdo it. A generic cover letter is usually enough unless a company sties that you need to provide additional info alongside your resume. Also, it's definitely not mandatory for you to ask for an interview. If the job posting requires a cover letter, make sure to mention why you are applying and what unique skills or experiences you bring to the table.
Tidy Up Your Online Presence
If you're currently an undergraduate or a graduate student, you should be posting good quality content on your online profiles - in particular, your resume as well as LinkedIn. Make sure that these profiles accurately represent who you are and the technical skills and experience that you possess. You can also add additional information such as what field(s) of study you are focusing on and your grade point average (GPA). Remove publicly accessible content such as drunk photos, raunchy tweets or memes, and any inappropriate jokes or references that won't serve you well in your job search.
In the end, it's definitely true that hiring managers are pickier as to who will be hired nowadays because they're faced with a greater number of applicants than ever before. You have to be a hard worker, an excellent communicator and be willing to work long hours in order for you to stand out from other candidates in your desired field.
Show Marketable Skillsets (like Communication)
It's not enough just to be a hard worker anymore. Future employers are looking for workers with specific skillsets that are needed in their companies. One of the most important soft skills you can possess is your ability to communicate effectively.
Effective communication is key. Let employers know that you're a good communicator by telling them exactly what you can bring to the table. Market yourself well.
Since you're applying for jobs in fields that put a high premium on skills, make sure that your executive resume is polished to a shine. You should also have great social media etiquette because it will help your company connect with you better.
Get to Know Recruiters
Unadvertised jobs have no competition. The best way to know about them is through the help of a recruiter. If you're still in school, try getting to know your career center's office and the recruiting agency's personnel. They can help you connect with recruiters because they already have connections with employers who might be looking for school leavers. Some recruiters are even able to introduce you to a graduate program that involves a structured career pathway into subsequent high-flier positions.
Ask questions! Below is an article to introduce you to this.
Make the Most of Job Fairs
Many of these job fairs are held on campus and in the community. They're a great way for you to meet many recruiters at once and learn of the range of jobs available. However, you should come prepared to these job fairs. Bring copies of your resume and convincing cover letter, and remember to smile. Know what you want when you tour the job fair grounds and prepare reasons why you deserve the role before you approach the key people to discuss indepth.
Set a Job Search Timeline
Limit your job search timeline to five months. Look at the job boards for available positions and then apply for the best ones you can find, one by one. Make sure that each company that you contact has at least a few open positions and if they don't, try applying to another one.
Having a plan limited by time is important. This pressure will help you eliminate jobs that you do not want, as well as those that are unnecessary for your career advancement. You are also more likely to get jobs if you are able to narrow down your job search to the best opportunities and focus your attention on them.
Always Try & Never Lose Hope
It's never too late to look for work after you've graduated - given that you applied and failed to find a job that fits. It is not easy to find a suitable job before graduation. You should still be prepared to send out many applications and keep working hard regardless of how long it takes. In fact, that's the best way to go about your job search because no one else will try harder than you.
Never give up on your dream job and always put yourself in a positive light during job interviews. When the going gets tough, keep moving forward with your plan and remember that these tough times will be over soon enough. Ultimately, don't expect a job to fall into your lap. A lot of hard work is required to land that first ideal job, and the harder you work for it, the more you're going to appreciate your position once you get it.
Alternatives to Finding Work - Having a baby, graduate school, backpacking
There is always time for soul searching. Find your passion and take a gap year or two if that's what's required. Job hunting is a marathon, not a sprint - take plenty of time. You can choose to do something you love and choose to give up on the idea of working. Look for alternatives according to the way you see fit and make sure that you are always happy with your decision because your mediocre job will never be as fulfilling as doing what you truly want to do.