As a soon-to-be graduate, it is an exciting time for you, as you’re about to begin a new phase of your life. However, you may also begin to feel the pressure of finding a job and setting the ball rolling for your career. Don’t stress yourself out! Each year, there are tons of new grads who successfully find work and the perfect opportunity could be waiting just around the corner for you! Here are some tips that will help you kick-start your job search.
1. Start early:
Job searches usually take much longer than expected and I don’t mean to dishearten you, but it’s unlikely that you will nab the first job you apply for. It’s understandable that you want to take a post-graduation vacation before you start your job search. However, there could be a price to pay, because the longer you put off job searching, the harder it’ll be for you as a new graduate to find work. Ever heard ‘the early bird catches the worm’?
2. Reach out to your network:
Let your friends and families (and their friends and families) know that you are actively looking for work, as you never know what connections they may have or if they have heard of any vacancies that may suit you. The companies they work for may even have unadvertised job opportunities that only “insiders” know about and they may be able put a good word in for you.
3. Learn how to job search effectively:
Nowadays, you can find information about anything online. If you are not sure how to write a cover letter or a resume, do a web search and you’ll find tons of information (not to mention all of our super helpful articles on Undercover Recruiter!)
If in doubt, ask for help. Chances are that nearly every person you know who has been employed at some point in their life has probably had to write a cover letter and resume before, so there’s bound to be someone who can lend you a hand.
4. Don’t leave out your work experience:
As a new grad, employers don’t expect to find an enormous amount of work experience on your resume. However, don’t leave this section empty. If you really don’t have any work experience, include any unpaid experience, such as volunteer experience, to highlight your skills. Keep in mind that sometimes your academic achievements may not be your strongest qualification in the business world. Many employers value work experience, even if the work is not in your field, more than your academic results.
5. Connect with people who work in the field:
If you know people who work in the field that you want to work in, take them out for lunch or coffee and ask them for advice. If you don’t know anyone in the field, seek them out on social media, such as LinkedIn and Twitter, or attend industry events. You’ll be surprised to know how many professionals are willing to help and they may even be able to give you a recommendation.
6. Look and act professional:
Once you graduate, you are not a college student anymore, so don’t act like one. As a start, sign up for a professional email address if your current email address looks something like firstname.lastname@example.org. When you go for job interviews, leave your t-shirt and shorts at home and wear something more appropriate.
It’s also a good idea to clean up your social media presence. Uploading those photos of alcohol fuelled nights seemed like a hilarious idea at the time, but it’s probably not what a prospective employer wants to see when they look you up. If you don’t want to remove the photos, make sure that your security settings are set for just your friends to view your profile. Platforms such as Twitter and LinkedIn can be great tools for building yourself a professional personal brand.
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