You’ve finished your classes, all 120-credits, and are anxiously waiting for your diploma. You’re certain that your new degree will attract employers from all-over. You’ll land a top-job in no time!
But wait – jobs aren’t handed to you as soon as you graduate? We have to search for them ourselves?! Emotional breakdown to commence in 3, 2, 1…
Now, we know what you’re thinking (and what we’re going to say): “Getting a job is all about who you know!” and “I’m not getting any phone calls for interviews. I guess I should give up!”
It’s now time to lay down the law and say adíos to those typical, emotionally-driven thoughts about the post-grad job hunt, and get serious.
Building the Résumé
Job hunting does not have to be difficult. However, it will be if you make it so.
Before beginning your search, develop your résumé (or edit one you’ve already made). \ Make your experiences pop – future employers will notice this.
Include all relevant work experience in your resume. Remember that magazine internship you had during your sophomore year? Add it to the list.
How about your apprenticeship at your local doctor’s office? Another valuable experience.
Employers want to know where you have gotten outside experience from in your field of interest (besides schooling). Lastly, add in any skills or qualifications you have in your field, along with where you earned your college degree(s).
Huge insider: most employers aren’t looking for a list of every single job you’ve had throughout college. Unless you gained marketable skills from your part-time dog-washing job, leave it out. Making your résumé too cluttered could be a turn-off. You want employers to look at your résumé, not throw it in the “not-interested” pile.
Searching for your first job out of college can be intimidating. It signifies a new step in your life; you don’t want to mess it up.
So, how do you know where to look and who to contact when you’re itching to apply for open positions?
We’ll tell you how to do this (and offer some advice if you find yourself in a bind):
- Upload your résumé to top job sites such as CareerBuilder, Indeed, Neuvoo, and Monster. If you’re looking for positions in the media industry, submit your resume to MediaBistro or JournalismJobs for a head start on the competition.
- Don’t limit yourself. Think back on the skills you’ve acquired and see which positions fit your skill level. Still submit your application even if the requirements ask for “2+ years experience,” because you really never know what might come out of it.
- Take a deep breath, relax and don’t stress. You’re already taking a big step in the job-seeking process by submitting application-after-application. Things take time. Employers receive hundreds of applications. Be patient while they get to yours.
- Send a follow-up e-mail after a certain amount of time. In your cover letter, note how you plan to follow-up with a possible employer, and do it. They might respond to you (or they might not). Either way, it’s a great way to show that you’re still interested in the open position and don’t fall back on your word.
Don’t be discouraged if you do not receive a phone call from an employer right away. You’re not “wasting” your degree if a full-time job in your field hasn’t appeared yet.
Eventually, the perfect opportunity will find its way to you. And the stress will finally feel worth it.
Discussion: Graduates and soon-to-be graduates! What tips do you have for twenty-somethings who are stressing about their first job search?