Transitioning from college to the job force can be frightening. You may hear the word “no” a lot, and you may not get the job that you were imagining when you started your college career. However, this is part of the journey for many people. In order to get the best head start possible once you graduate, here are some tips finding a job after college.
1. Make Your Resume Perfect
When you reach out to a potential employer, they need to be impressed. Many times, the first impression that an employer will have of you is going to be your resume. Make it the absolute best that it can be!
Something that can automatically disqualify you for certain positions is grammatical errors. Proofread your resume a couple times. Also, have someone else look at it. A second pair of eyes may catch errors that you didn’t see.
Be sure to research popular keywords in your field as well. Putting these keywords in your resume will make your skills stand out.
2. Clean Up Social Media
Sure, it was cool in college to make your profile picture the image of you and your friends shotgunning a beer. Definitely change any pictures that make you look unprofessional! In fact, delete them from your social media account entirely. You can always save them to your computer for future reminiscing. One thing employers love to do now is look at social media accounts. Anything that looks unprofessional can be damaging.
Utilize social media in as many ways as you can, as well. Many sites like LinkedIn can be used to help you network in your field. So, create pages on professional social media accounts.
3. Get Out There
In order to meet the people who are hiring, it’s important to look for networking events and job fairs. Print out your resume, put on your business attire, and get ready to meet some employers! Applying online is a great way to start, but there’s nothing like meeting people face to face.
When you do talk to a potential employer, be sure to be persistent without being rude. Also, do what you can to be conversational and be memorable. When you have a sincere conversation with someone, they are more likely to remember you.
4. Manage Expectations
It is very rare to get your dream job immediately out of college. This doesn’t mean that it can’t happen, but expect it to take a little longer than you might have originally anticipated.
Your first job out of college might not be as much pay as you’d like, but everyone has to start somewhere. This is your time to prove yourself and show that you deserve more responsibility and more pay. If you get an offer that you might want to refuse, just remember that it could lead to much better things.
5. Stay in Your Field
The best thing that you can do for your first job is get a job in your field. Even if you start as an assistant or doing office work, if you are surrounded by people in your field, you will find connections.
Surrounding yourself in the right environment around the right people can make future opportunities easier for you.
If you have two job offers – definitely take the one in your field. Even if the other pays slightly more.
6. Look For Security
As an adult, you have certain needs and responsibilities now. What you are looking for in your first job out of college is stability. You need a job with regular hours, health insurance, and a 401K. These things are necessary as an adult. Soon, you won’t be able to use your parents’ health insurance. You will also need stability to support yourself properly. And a 401K is just mandatory for your future.
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You also want to look at the stability of the company that you are considering. How long have they been in business? Have they been through any name changes? Are they accredited by the BBB? Pay attention to these details, because you don’t want to find yourself working for a company that will close its doors within the year.
7. Expect Rejection
There are a lot of people out there looking for similar jobs as you. Even when you think you have found the perfect career match, you might find that you were passed up. Since it could be for a number of different reasons, do not take it personally. Some people let rejection bring them down and give them a negative outlook. This will not help your future goals. Stay positive!
Also, plan for this rejection accordingly. Apply at many places, and schedule several interviews. The more you put yourself out there, the sooner you will come across an opportunity that you are looking for.
8. Follow Up
Some companies get a surplus of resumes. Great candidates can easily get lost in the shuffle, so be sure to follow up if you haven’t heard anything. Be sure to make it a positive encounter, because this will hopefully bring you to the hiring manager’s attention. And feel free to follow up after an interview as well. This shows your dedication to the position, and, once again, it ensures that you didn’t get lost in the process.
It’s harder to find your dream job than you might have thought a couple years ago. However, you already passed that ridiculously hard calculus class and managed to maintain a part time position throughout college. You can do this!