Your exams are coming to an end, signaling the end of your time at college. It’s time to launch your job search. But life isn’t a piece of cake if you’re a fresh graduate looking for your dream job. Long after celebrating your graduation with family and friends, you realize that there’s more to landing a job than sending out your resume.
There are plenty of resources to point you in the right direction, but we tell you what every graduate job seeker needs to know:
Tailor your CV
It’s a given that you don’t have too much job experience so match your personality and skills to the job you’re applying for. Take a close look at the job descriptions and identify key words that indicate what the hiring manager is looking for in a candidate. These keywords will help you to see how your academic career or college internships have prepared you for the next step in your career.
For instance, if the listing says "candidates who can schedule and execute jobs on-time and on-budget", you can talk about projects that you've managed in college. Say a leadership role as an activities club president, where you've had to manage both your time and the club's money.
Don’t forget to proofread your resume several times for spelling, grammatical and other formatting errors.
Tap your network
Want to know the best place to start looking for job leads? At home! Your parents, their friends, your college professors and alumni, etc. are a great resource. Prepare a pitch for the kind of work you'd like to do before you talk to them. If you manage to get job leads via your contacts, but they aren’t exactly the kinds of jobs you want, don’t be quick to turn them down. These opportunities may eventually help you land the job you really want. For instance, an administrative position may not sound exciting, but it could allow you to shadow someone in a job that does interest you. So keep an open mind.
Build an online brand
According to a SHRM study, 84% of organizations are now recruiting on social media. Clearly, having an online presence is vital for job seekers today. Make sure you clean up your social media accounts before you start looking for a job -- put up professional photos, don't make offensive comments and ensure all your accounts are updated.
Also, remember that recruiters are likely to consider your online presence as an extension of your resume. They will be interested in reading any posts you've written about the industry you're hoping to become a part of. So do your research and share your point of view about relevant topics or ideas. It can help open doors for you online.
No entry-level jobs? Consider an internship
If you’re having a tough time getting a full-time job, consider an internship as a way to get your foot in the door. It’s a great option, especially if your college major choice has little connection with the career path you seek. (For eg, if you’re a hotel management student keen to pursue a career in banking.) Even if the internship doesn’t ultimately convert into a full-time job, the contacts you make and experience you gain will be helpful going forward. Deciding whether or not to accept an unpaid internship is a personal choice you'll have to make.
Practice what you’ll say
If you do get that interview call, it’s imperative to practice your introduction. No college presentation can prepare you for a job interview. Keep in mind that you’re competing with many others so start with a strong introduction. Always focus on your strengths; never make generic statements.
For more advice on how to land your dream career as a fresh grad, download our FREE Graduates Handbook!