Getting a job after graduation is not very hard, but finding the one you really want will take some extra effort.
Of course you want a well-written resume, but there are several way ways you can ensure your success in landing a better job when you graduate.
Here are five tips, why you should try them and where you should start when you do.
1. Get involved with social media
LinkedIn is the place you should start if you want to enter the professional working world. The social media platform is nothing special, but it is well-known. It allows other members to see your profile, view your resume and check out credentials without having to “Friend” you.
Why? It is not actually about the magical effects of LinkedIn — it is about the people who use it. Corporate HR staff have to research into you as fully as possible via means other than your resume if they want to put you forward to be hired. LinkedIn is the biggest cheat that human resources can use since the invention of Google.
Starting point: Make sure every resume and email you send has a reference to your LinkedIn profile. Spend some time filling out your profile and make as many meaningful connections on there as possible.
2. Start blogging
Do not start a blog about your favorite Kardashian; start it about your chosen discipline. Show the world just how much you know. Post at least twice per month, but it needs to be a good one. You cannot afford to draft any old bunk. Your work needs to be high quality so that your potential employer can click on any one of them and see how great you are.
Why? It allows you to show the world that your qualifications actually mean something. It can be used to demonstrate your expertise and show that the information on your resume is correct. It may even pop up during the HR staff’s Google search, which will work heavily in your favor. HR staff love an Internet trail.
Starting point: You have files and files of school/college/university essays that are just sitting there. Edit them to make them perfect and publish them. If they’re long, break them into 500 word posts and publish them as a series.
3. Become an intern
An internship can be a good baby step into a future career. Some students want to have three or more internships prior to graduating.
Why? It does offer you a valuable bit of experience, but part of the reason is that it is an American tradition. Almost all career people have their intern stories. Unless you are entering a discipline such as the medical field, an internship is not needed, but it is still beneficial.
Starting point: Consult your guidance counselor and discuss your options. Check in with a favorite teacher who might have some ideas as well. Otherwise discuss it with an independent guidance company. They will put you on the right track for your chosen career, for the internships in your area and for your state.
4. Consult a guidance counselor
They get a lot of negative attention because people often set their expectations too high, and the bad ones give the rest a bad name. Nevertheless, there is a big chance that your school’s careers guidance counselor knows more about your chosen profession than you do.
Why? They know the small details. They know how you should apply and where. They also know the laws of your state, which will dictate what internships you can legally apply for. They also are often connected with big firms in the area that are looking for entry-level applicants.
Starting point: Set up an appointment with your school’s counselor. Find and contact a third-party careers guidance counselor.
5. Join an industry-specific group
There are lots of them for almost every field. There are groups if you want to be a jeweler, work in the concrete trade or write newspaper columns. Even the professions that do not have specific group will often still have a professional development group for you to join.
Why? It is a good way of immersing yourself in the industry and the people in it. Think of it like a person learning Spanish moving to Spain. The long-term benefits are quite unknown, but always positive.
Starting point: The industry groups are hardly shy about advertising their existence. A little digging around in an industry magazine and website or two will produce good results. Your careers guidance counselor may suggest a few groups, but you should make a point of asking him or her to be sure.
Graduating and moving into the “real world” can seem overwhelming at times, but breaking things up into manageable chunks like this can help you in getting a job you really want.
Do you have any advice for the graduate looking for their first job? Let us know in the comments!
Thanks for the post, Meghan! This will force me to refocus on the blog that I recently started, but haven’t gone all in on.
Thank you! As a recent graduate, this post is really meant for me. Hope I’ll get my dream job soon!