Today’s job market is not the easiest place for recent graduates who are looking for a job. I have a few tips and suggestions that I feel are helpful. Please comment and let me know if you have any other tips.
- Network, network and network! This is the most important thing that I learned in my college career. Knowing someone can help give you that push that you need when finding a job. Most employers hire someone who has interned for them or someone they know. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Set up an informational interview with an employer or ask if you could set up a time to ask them a few questions about their career because you are interested in pursuing something similar.
- Perfect your resume. Make sure your resume is one page and is free of gramatical errors. Choose a format that makes it easy for an employer to scan. There are numerous online examples and tips for perfecting resumes.
- Join your college of university’s local alumni club. Most schools have these and this is the best way to network with local professionals in your area. These people will be willing to help you in any way possible because they too are alumni.
- Become active on professional social media sites like Twitter or LinkedIn. I highly recommend starting a LinkedIn account. This site allows you to create a virtual resume and connect with people who are also on the site. It gives you the opportunity to list skills, past employment history and acquire recommendations from other LinkedIn users. Twitter is also a very effective way to connect with future employers and make connections that may be helpful down the road.
- Be professional! Make sure that the phone number you give out to employers has an appropriate voice mail/answering machine message. I would recommend not having a ring back on your cell phone if you give this number to employers or list it on your resume. They do not want to listen to your music, especially if it is obscene. Clean up your Facebook. Remove pictures or wall posts that are inappropriate. You have complete control of how you portray yourself online. Although Facebook is a social site, it is being used more and more by businesses to keep in touch with employees. Last, ditch the cute email address or email signature. When looking over your resume a serious employer is not going to want to email firstname.lastname@example.org for an interview. How you conduct yourself via email is just as important as how you would conduct yourself in an interview.
- Get involved in your local community. Join a club, organization or volunteer. This is a great way to network and meet people.