Think Like an Entrepreneur
Employers are truly interested in graduates who have an entrepreneurial mindset. Now, this does not mean that you need to have started your own business, although that would be wonderful.
It means that they are looking for individuals who can come up with great ideas, present those ideas in a clear and concise manner, and then take action on those ideas. They are also looking for people who will act on problems without waiting to be told how to proceed. If you have these characteristics and can demonstrate them to potential employers, you are off to a good start.
Don’t set Overly Strict Limits on Your Job Search
Many graduates begin looking for their first job with an extremely limited scope. As you search for a job, don’t put yourself at a disadvantage by considering only positions that relate directly to your major. Instead, think about skills that you want to develop, talents that you have to offer, industries that interest you, and the work environment in which you believe you will thrive. By expanding the scope of your search, you’ll have better chances of securing a position and enjoying your job.
Do Your Research and Prepare Thoroughly for Interviews
There might be no bigger turn off to potential employers than a lack of preparation. Before you show up for an interview make sure that you can do the following:
- Ask intelligent questions about the future of the company
- Comment positively on recent developments involving the company
- Answer basic questions about the company’s function
- Provide specific answers as to why you are interested in the position
Skip over Jobs That Fail to Evoke any Passion
If you have absolutely no feelings of passion about any aspect of a potential job, that is going to show in your interview. Why waste your time or the time of the person interviewing you?
Even if a job is not your first choice, or even if it isn’t your fifth choice, try to find something about the opportunity that excites you. After all, it’s better to turn down a job offer than to be eliminated from consideration because you seemed uninterested.
Take a Second and Third Look at your Social Media Presence
Before taking the leap into searching for a job as a fully-realized adult, take some time to clean up your social media accounts. A picture with you and a glass of wine at a wedding reception if fine, a picture of you with a beer in hand at ball game is also fine, but those pictures of that lost weekend in Cabo might be a little over the top.
Then, when you are finished cleaning up your accounts, start working on creating a polished and professional presence. If you aren’t already on LinkedIn, that is a great place to start.
Let Your College Help You
Your school has several resources available to you. Take advantage of them. You can get help with writing your resume in the student success center. You can use the student resource center to look at jobs that have been posted by companies in your area. Finally, you can hit up your advisor and former instructors for job seeking advice, references, and any insider information about where the jobs are.
In many cases, employers who are seeking entry-level talent will go directly to schools instead of posting positions online.
Don’t Wait to be Hired Before You become a Part of Your Chosen Industry
You don’t have to have a job to participate in industry events. You can follow blogs and other social media pages of major figures in your industry. You can connect with people in your career field on LinkedIn.
You can attend networking events to learn new things, and pass along your contact information to people you would like to communicate with in the future.
Review your Resume Over and Over Again
There are so many details that you must get correct in your resume. This is why it is so important to spend time reviewing what is there and making sure that you have not made any embarrassing writing mistakes.
Take the Time to Connect with your References
Many young job-seekers don’t spend enough time on their references. Before including somebody as a reference, ask yourself the following questions:
- Have I had recent contact with this person?
- Am I certain this person is still willing to act as a reference for me?
- Is this person still an active presence in my school, with my previous employer, or in an organization with which I was involved?
If you are unsure of the answers to any of these questions, please take a moment to re-connect with your reference. Respectfully ask if they are still willing to give you a reference. Then, thank them profusely for their consideration regardless of their answer.
Images sourced: splitshire.com