Tips For Recent Graduates On The Job Hunt
Searching for a job can be a scary thing — especially when you’re fresh out of college and lack considerable experience in the professional world. Here a few tips from the Software Advice website for the young hopefuls trying to land that first job out of college.
1. Clean up your social media accounts.
To begin with what should be the most obvious, it’s important to make sure your online personality reflects a level of professionalism. Hiring managers will do their research on you before they meet you, and they certainly don’t want to see that you have poor grammar and inappropriate pictures polluting your page. So make sure you’re in control of your real first impression — your online impression.
2. Go after “foundational” roles.
Much like it sounds, a “foundational” role lays the foundation for your career. It’s a job that will teach you what the professional world is all about and equip you with the skills you’ll need for every future job, as well. Tell a hiring manager that you are actively seeking this type of role, and they will be impressed with your career-mindedness.
3. Practice answering common interview questions.
There are certain questions you can expect to hear in any interview. For instance, a hiring manager will almost always ask why you want the job. You should be prepared with a solid answer of how you can contribute to the company and why you are a good fit for the role they’re hiring for. Before heading into your interview, take some time to look at common interview questions, and plan out the things you feel are important for the hiring manager to know about you. Then, construct clear, concise answers to highlight those traits. You’ll come off as a polished and composed young professional, which hiring managers like.
4. Narrow down your search.
First, come up with at least an idea of where you want to be in ten years. Then, figure out what steps you’ll need to take to get there. This will put things in perspective for you and what kind of job could potentially be the launching pad for your career. It’s also important to consider a few factors when you’re trying to figure out what exactly it is that you want to be when you grow up. Look for jobs that will provide some stability, and that are growing. And, if possible, look for jobs that are innately interesting to you.
5. Practice interviewing — and not just in your head.
Interviews can be intimidating. You’re put on the spot and you have to make a great first impression. The good news, however, is that there are a few interview questions you can almost guarantee you’ll be asked. As such, you can plan ahead and prepare your solid answers to commonly asked interview question.
However, it’s important that you don’t just write out these answers. You should also practice saying them out loud so you don’t sound like a robot reading from a script. Grab a friend and practice — they’ll be able to tell you whether your answers sound unnatural or forced. When it comes time to deliver these answers to your hiring manager, they’ll be impressed with your polished responses.
6. Dress appropriately.
Some companies offer a casual environment, which will be a nice perk if you land the job. But that doesn’t mean you should show up to the interview in your favorite college t-shirt and a pair of flip flops. Dress like a professional, and you’ll be seen as one. Hiring managers know you can’t afford an expensive suit, but you can certainly find a cheaper one from Target — and no one will be able to tell the difference.
7. Check and double-check your resume for mistakes.
Errors in grammar, punctuation or spelling can put an abrupt end to your prospects for a role. If you don’t care enough to submit an error-free resume, why should a hiring manager believe you’d care about the work you put out for their company? Find someone you trust (such as a teacher) and ask them to look over your resume. A fresh set of eyes will often find errors you didn’t notice. Don’t let a spelling error keep you from being interviewed for a role that may be a perfect fit for you.