Nailing The Job Hunt After College
First of all, congratulations! You've achieving one of life’s major accomplishments: graduating from college. Now that you have that degree, finding a job should be a breeze, right? Well.. not necessarily.
Securing that first job after college can be a stressful and nerve-racking process. We've been there. Not to mention, the constant questions from family and friends asking where are you working doesn’t make it any easier.
Today’s job market is more competitive than ever and recruiters are being overloaded by a large applicant pool, resumes and cover letters. After submitting numerous job applications, you may feel as if you are getting lost in the online application process - but don’t get discouraged! There are many other young aspiring professionals who are in the same boat!
Here are some helpful tips to be successfully ace the job hunt:
By Brianna Allen
Your resume is essentially your calling card, if you want to to secure an interview. It's your chance to grab the recruiters’ attention. The six most important elements of your resume are: work experience, background, skills, organizations, education and honors. The best way to outline your resume is with the company listed first, followed by the title of your position, location and the time frame you worked there. Next, under work experience list your primary responsibilities so recruiters or hiring managers gain a clear picture of your experience. Lastly, don’t forget to add your contact information i.e. full name, phone number and email address.
Although they sometimes optional, cover letters have the ability to increase your chances of interviewing. Use the cover letter to expand on your work experiences and share information not highlighted in your resume. A good way to do this is by mentioning a specific project you worked on and the skills you used or even gained. Recruiters like to see the applicant’s impact and growth in a work environment to make sure they are a good fit for their organization.
Keeping your LinkedIn page up to date is critical during the job-hunting process. Recruiters use LinkedIn to find new hires. If they see you may be a good fit, they will reach out via LinkedIn message. You can also use LinkedIn to apply to jobs. Sometimes, you will even find the hiring managers information - which is useful to reach out regarding the position. Remember staying active on LinkedIn is key by following companies you are interested in, or sharing articles just like you are occupied on other social media platforms.
It is always a great idea to make as many connections at the company that you are interested in. Research, research, research! Find networking events or coffee chats that they host so you can attend and meet as many people who work there. If you are a part of any professional organizations or Greek life, it doesn’t hurt to reach out to someone who currently works there or is connected in the industry. This shows you are aggressive and committed to learning more about their company.
You landed the interview! Usually the application process will begin with a phone interview, which is a screening to make sure you meet the minimum requirements. Then, you will be brought in for a first and second round in-person interview. Don’t forget to dress business professional and arrive 10-15 minutes early. It is also important to bring extra copies of your resume for the interviewer and ask for their business cards to send a thank you email. Sometimes recruiters will give you a time frame, but if you do not hear back within two weeks it is good to follow-up to express your continued interest in the position.
Your references are your biggest advocates. After you have completed the application and interview process you want to make sure your references are going to speak positively about your accomplishments and contributions. Keep in mind, references do not always have to be a previous employer. You can also ask a mentor that knows you well or even college advisors, especially when just starting out in your career. If, the person can speak to your work ethic then they will be a great reference.