If there’s one thing I’m good at, its getting jobs. I’ve had a lot of them and I’ve learned a lot in the job search process. But one job search that was incredibly daunting for me was the one coming out of college. With relatives telling you you’re not going to find a job and professors pushing you to get your Masters it sometimes feels like there is no hope in getting a job. You feel like you were a freshman yesterday and suddenly you’re walking in graduation going from student to unemployed adult. I was fortunate enough to get a job only a month after graduating and I wanted to to share my tips and tricks with you all so I can help some of you looking for advice. I know how scary this time in your life can be and I hope I can be some help to someone out there.
1.)Experience: Get as much experience as you can while you’re in school. Try to start getting experience as soon as you can but don’t get discouraged if you’re already a junior or senior. It should only take about three jobs or internships to fill a resume. I got all of my experience in the food and beverage industry in one year by getting a job in a restaurant over the summer, as well as becoming an intern at a winery. Once the summer was over I got a job as a brand ambassador for a yogurt company and that was all it took to fill my resume. If you can, try working in different aspects of the industry to create a well rounded resume.
2.) Use your Resources: Most schools will have great resources like interview workshops, resume help and even LinkedIn help. Use these resources! You should also try to get to career fairs both at your school and surrounding universities that are open to the public if you can.
3.) Have a great resume and cover letter: Like I said go to resume workshops and do research online. Spend A LOT of time on your resume and cover letter and change it for each job you apply for. It is so important to have a good resume and you don’t want it to look like someone in kindergarten did it. One of the best things that happened to me was when one of my professors looked over my resume and helped me to change it. A good resume can transform your job search.
4.) Start searching early: My senior year I told myself I would start my job search in December but that didn’t exactly happen. I ended up starting my search in April which was actually way too late in my opinion. I’ve heard you should start your job search 6-9 months before graduation. It seems like a lot of time but it’s better to be over prepared than under prepared and stressed at graduation.
5.) Quality over Quantity: This relates to the point I made above about having a good resume. Spend a lot of time applying for jobs. When I applied for jobs I would spend an entire day working on my resume, cover letter, and email. It was an annoying process to work on it all day but I only applied to three jobs before landing an interview that led to my job. Check your grammar and your spelling over and over. Make sure you sound professional and are using the right form of certain words. It really matters and it’s way more frustrating in my opinion to keep applying and getting no response or a rejection rather than spending more time and getting a good response.
6.) Follow up: So you’ve sent in your resume and cover letter. It’s been a week and you haven’t heard back. Reach out! It can be scary but there’s no harm in being assertive and it will show your interest. I usually wait about a week or so before I reach out to a job. Tell them you’re checking on the status of your application and that you would love to schedule an interview. The worst that can happen is that they say no.
7.) Be Prepared: So you’ve landed the interview. Be prepared! Do research on typical interview questions and write out your answers. Practice them and have mock interviews with family and friends. Keep practicing and thinking about your answers. You should also have questions prepared that you will ask them. Research the company and their culture and dress appropriately. Even if they’re business casual you should still get more dressed up than that for the interview. Iron your clothes and have everything prepared for the day of. Arrive 25-30 minutes early and head into the building 15 minutes before. Lastly, be confident! They want you to be the right person and they want you to succeed. Don’t forget to send a thank you afterward.
8.) Don’t be Too Picky or Too Lax: So you got the job. Great! But it’s not the position you wanted or the pay isn’t that great. You have to decide what you’re willing to compromise on and what you’re not. For me I didn’t want to work for a company whose product I didn’t believe in. I didn’t want to sell a product I felt was unhealthy or was abusive to animals. However I knew I was straight out of college so I was willing to compromise when it came to the pay I was getting and the position I would take. I really loved the company and there was room for growth so I didn’t mind taking lower than what I asked for and a different job. What they ended up liking about me was my eagerness to work and the fact that I was willing to take any job just to get my foot in the door.
I hope these job tips help some of you! The best tip I can give is honestly to believe you can do it and to work for it. Write it down in a notebook “I will get a job by” and write a specific date. It sounds silly but it works! If you have any questions comment below and I would be happy to answer them. I wish you all the best of luck!