During our college years, we are often too focused on class projects and final exams to even consider what lies ahead after graduation. And while it’s true that college and university grads get hired more often than non-graduates, the job market is still highly competitive and it’s important to remember that, when you’re standing in your graduation gown with a diploma in your hand, there are many young people around the country in your same situation. A ton of these graduates will have similar experience and education to you and will be vying for the same jobs.
Getting a job right after graduation is not easy. In fact, if you haven’t already began preparing for this day since the last semester, you will soon realize that you have your work cut out for you.
Breaking into the work force after college can be really tough and you may worry that employers won’t be interested in you because you have a lack of work experience in your new field. However, you do have a lot going for you! You are well-educated, enthusiastic and you have demonstrated your ability to learn by successfully graduating college.
Before you start looking for a job, you’ve got to change your mindset. “You are no longer a student, you are a professional. Your identity, mindset and language now have to transition. This means that on your resume, you list your education last.”
The writing in it should be directive and straight-forward, moving from “I am becoming” to “I am.” On your summary in LinkedIn, it’s not that you’re pursuing a particular title – you are that title. A prospective employer is only interested in who you are and how your experience can solve their pain points. So you need to show them your strength in that conviction by “being” a professional, A Career Mentor says that now that you are moving from college into the working world, you have to make a few changes to your online presence and upgrade yourself from personal to professional.
Career Mentors says that, while you may be temped to hold out until you find a position that has everything, when you are looking for your first position after college, don’t look for the perfect job – look for the right job for right now.
“I can hear you protesting that you want to love your job and yes, in an ideal world, we all want a job we love. However, think of it this way: You have enthusiasm and passion, but no experience,” she explains. “For an employer you are a good bet in that you don’t cost as much as more experienced applicants, but you are still a risk.”
Look for job in an area that interests you and in the industry you went to school for (or something similar), but don’t hold out for the “perfect” job.
Social media platforms are not only great for connecting with family and friends – they are useful when you are looking for a new job. LinkedIn is the leading professional social network and Gen Y expert and author Dan Schawbel predicts it will remain for that way for the foreseeable future, so if you haven’t already, create a LinkedIn profile.
Once you have decided your career path and have made a list of the jobs you want to apply for, you need to make sure your resume is up-to-date. Your resume should have more than the degree you’ve earned, your summer jobs, internships and part-time jobs. Use your resume to make a stronger statement about your desired career path. Think about what you can offer an employee, and make your resume an effective marketing tool.
Use your cover letter as an opportunity to sell yourself to your potential employers. Do some research on each company you are applying to and personalize your cover letters. Address the letter to the appropriate person and show your work to your employers by making statements that show you’ve done your research, such as “[Your Company] has grown to be a market leader in [industry] and I believe it would be a great opportunity for me to join the team.”