This is the time of year when many university and college students leave the world of academia to pursue their dream jobs – the one they have been training for while in school. Congratulations to all of the new grads on a job well done! Another congratulations to those of you who have successfully landed a job after graduation.
There are still many people with freshly minted degrees and diplomas, however, who have not yet found a suitable role. Here are my top 10 tips for finding your first job after graduation!
Know what you want
Although this may sound like common sense, it is still important that you do the self-reflection needed to help you narrow down your strengths and interests. In doing so, you can look for opportunities that match your background. In addition, you should think about the types of organizations for which you want to work. For example, do you want to work for a large or small organization? A well-established firm or start-up? A for-profit or not-for-profit organization? This will help you to focus your job search efforts.
Create a Pitch
Once you have completed your self-reflection, you are now ready to craft your elevator pitch. If you are not sure how to craft an elevator pitch, or you’re not sure what an elevator pitch is, click here to see my last blog on writing one.
Create a Target Company List
While going through the exercise in step 1, think about which companies would have the attributes that are important to you and employ the skills and experience you have. Having a top 10 target company list will streamline your research, networking, and job search efforts. As a result, you will be able to make efficient use of your job search time.
Make sure you cast a wide net when you are networking. If you’re not sure where to begin, you can start with family and friends – and even close family friends. Friends of your parents, your professors, team coaches, etc., are all great potential resources. In addition, if you already have your elevator pitch and top 10 target company list, your network will have a greater chance of pointing you in the right direction. Click here for a copy of my networking guide.
Although many organizations have a presence on Twitter and Facebook, remember that LinkedIn is the largest online professional networking site out there. As such, it is important that you have an up-to-date profile and use LinkedIn as part of your job search efforts. Not only is it a wonderful resource for researching organizations, but it can also help you identify people within your target organizations with whom you may wish to network. As a final note, remember that employers may check your online profiles, so it is important that your online presence is professional.
Apply to the right jobs
If you have done the work in step 1 and are able to articulate your skills and interests, coupled with your target company list, make sure that you are only applying to those roles that fit your background. It is a best practice to customize your resume for the specific roles to which you are applying, so being selective in these roles will help. As tempting as it may be to apply to any job that you come across, if you “spam” the company with your resume, the recruiters will see this and will be left with the impression that you are too desperate. As a result, you may be passed over for any role within the organization.
Make sure you are professional in your approach to the interview. This includes the way you dress, speak, and act in the interview. For more insight on this, feel free to refer to my previous blog post with my top interview tips by clicking here.
This is a key step in your recruitment journey. Throughout my nearly 20-year recruitment career, it stood out to me when a person followed up appropriately. For more information on how and when to follow up after your job interview, you can see my previous blog post here.
Use your Career Center
The campus career center at your school is a wonderful resource for most of your job search needs. Many campus career centers will have volumes of information to help you with your industry and company research, networking tips, resume writing assistance, and interview preparation sessions. In addition, these services are funded by your university and college fees, so you might as well make the most of these services!
Although searching for a job is a full-time job, and a stressful one at that, it is important to stay calm and focused. Otherwise, it will show through when it comes time to interview. You may appear to be overly nervous, which in turn may give the interviewing company the wrong impression of how talented you truly are.
I hope you found these tips helpful. If you have any other tips on new grad job searching, please feel free to leave a comment below!
Congratulations on graduating with your diploma or degree. It takes a lot of hard work and determination, but you did it. All the best in your job search journey!