After years of late-night study sessions, essay writing, midterms, finals, and more, you finally have your degree. Now what?! The “real world” may seem daunting at first glance, but with it comes a lot of anticipation for the exciting things that lie ahead. You finally get to use that degree you have worked so hard to earn. Searching for your first professional job does not have to be overwhelming. With a little preparation and a positive attitude, you can snag a job you love before you know it! Here are our top tips on how you can level up your job search:
Upgrade your resume
Your resume is the very first impression that employers get of you, making it essential to have a succinct and organized resume. Instead of simply listing roles and responsibilities, list measurable results that occurred because of your work. This could be something regarding increasing sales, number of customers, social media followers, employee satisfaction rates, project management goals, etc. By quantifying your accomplishments, companies can really see your impact and quality of work behind your responsibilities. In addition, make sure your resume is only one page and highlights your most relevant experiences. Stand out by designing your resume using templates on platforms like Canva and Zety.
Networking is one of the most valuable ways to advance your professional career. According to ABC News, over 80% of job seekers say that their network has helped them find work. Your network can comprise of old coworkers, bosses, neighbors, classmates, alumni from Greek Life or your university, and more. These contacts can provide referrals, inside looks into certain companies or industries, or various teachings that can help you learn skills related to your field. Essentially, anyone who can help you in various moments within your career and job search can be a networking contact. Many job opportunities are filled before they are announced publicly, making networking crucial in finding some of the top job you desire. Need to expand your network? Use sites like LinkedIn or Facebook to join groups related to your industry, or attend various networking events in your area. Building a strong network takes time, but it is one of the best ways to find a job and learn more about your industry. To find networking events in your area, click here.
Expand your search
By broadening your job search, you’re sure to find a career suited for you much sooner. You can expand your search by looking at various job sites such as Indeed, LinkedIn, Handshake, Monster, and more. You can also broaden your search geographically or through searching multiple positions that relate to your major. Although you may not land your “dream job”, the experience you will gain from a related position will set you up for success in the future (so you can land that dream job!).
Prepare for interviews
Interviews are by far the most important part of the job search. An interview is essentially a “sales pitch” on you and your skillset. Prior to your interview, learn as much as you can about the company and their mission. Review their website and social media, but also chat with any networking contacts that may know about the company. Lastly, scour through Google to see what other information you can capture. After you feel like you have a grasp on the company, prepare for interview questions that the employer may ask. Start by reflecting on your skills and accomplishments that resonate with the position and company the most. Then, look up common interview questions and practice answering them out loud. In addition, prepare questions to ask the company regarding your position or any general information such as the company culture, office, etc. You can even take notes as a “cheat sheet” to review right before the interview. Make sure you have a professional outfit prepped and practice good hygiene for the big day. Print copies or your resume and referral list just in case. Be prepped, be yourself, and you will rock it!
Write thank-you notes and follow up
Writing a follow-up note shows employers you are genuinely interested in the position and will help you stand out amidst a handful of interviews. This note also gives you the opportunity to bring up any points you forgot to mention, which can help aid the decision-making process in your favor. Bonus points if you include a conversation point from the interview. Regardless of your desire for the job or how the interview went, employers appreciate a thank you, and it may aid in expanding your (you guessed it, network!). An email is preferable as it allows for immediate follow-up rather than a handwritten note. End your message by inviting them to ask any additional questions and conveying your excitement to hear back from them.
You’ve got the tools, now get out there and search like a pro! We wish you the best of luck. Hungry for more? Check out more fresh news and advice from our blog.