When you are trying to land that first employement after graduating, it might seem that everything is going against you. Being inexperienced is often an obstacle in getting a job – and gaining experience – so it seems like a vicious circle of rejection.
What can you do to improve your chances of finding a job, standing out from the crowd, and making your employer see that you will be a good addition to their company and that they won’t regret picking you?
Here are some tips on how to maximize your chances.
Obviously, you will need one for every job interview you go to. Not having one says enough by itself. So, put together the list of things that will show all your abilities and accomplishments you have had so far. Even if you never worked a day in your life, there are definitely things you could write down, like extracurricular activities, maybe some competitions you attended and awards you won during your studies, and how about some recommendation words from your favorite professors.
Talk about your computer and social skills, preferences, interests and try to persuade an employer that you are the best option. Research online for some more advice on how to write a resume, write your every relevant skill in it, include your best headshot just in case, and print out a dozen copies (for starters) – and you are ready to go.
2. Create a LinkedIn profile
Just having a Facebook page isn’t enough social networking if you are on a hunt for a job. LinkedIn is a must if you are looking for a job – even if you don’t have much to put on your profile yet. Maybe you have babysat before or you had a short summer part-time job – that is more than enough as a starting point. This will show your potential employer that you have worked before or at least that you can handle responsibilities.
This is also a good way to make connections with people in the working world, who may remember you next time they have an open spot at their company. Also, you can put it in your resume, which will show you are serious about finding a job. Put some effort in it and present yourself in the best light to the internet working society.
3. Keep an open mind
Yes, we all have our dream jobs somewhere at the back of our heads, but the first one doesn’t have to be it. Try to find something that is in the same line of work, or at least close to “what you want to do when you grow up”, but remember – you have to start somewhere. And the sooner you do, the sooner you will get where you want to be. That perfect position will become available somewhere along the way, but don’t expect to become an executive right out of college. That’s not the way it works, and you’ll have to work very hard to be extraordinary, you know that as well as we do. So even if you start at the mail section, be a good employee and you will move ahead. Don’t be a brat, be diligent and patient.
And, of course, don’t stop dreaming about your perfect job position – you’ll get there sooner or later.
4. Consider an internship
Having an internship in your resume could be the thing that will land you that job you wanted. This is a good way to get the experience you are lacking, and get familiar with the working world.
A piece of advice: try interning at a company that has a widely familiar brand, like, say, Nike, Microsoft, Google etc. It doesn’t have to be an important position either (nor will it be while you are interning) but these brands alone might open doors for you.
Another thing: you could end up getting a full time job at the company you started at as an intern, so choose wisely. They probably won’t pay you for your internship (or they will pay very little) but that is not the point. The point is getting experienced and paving the way to employment.
Do this as soon as possible (if you had an internship during your college years, that’s even better) and work your way up.
5. The hidden job market
This is all about knowing the right people and being the right person at the right time. Try making as many acquaintances as possible in the line of work you are interested in… and others, too. You never know when you could end up with a job just because you knew someone who knew someone who was looking for someone just like you.
The thing is, many employers don’t even advertise an open position out of fear of too many time-wasting interviews with the wrong people. So they will turn to their friends and acquaintances to recommend someone – this is where you could come in. An old college professor or someone you once helped for free might give you a hand in finding a good job. So don’t think you are wasting time when you are giving a helping hand to someone, as you never know when and how it could pay off.
6. Patience and persistence
These are the most important traits you need right now. Patience is gold, and so is persistence. Knock on many doors, give out many resumes, talk to a lot of people, apply, call, do internships, do whatever you can to get what you want. Even if you get rejected for a job, keep in touch, maybe they’ll call if the need for a new employee arises. Someone will eventually see that you are worthy and hire you. Just be stubborn and show them why it is you they are searching for!