The job search can be a challenging process, even after you graduate and secure a job. The job market changes constantly, and there is an infinite number of positions available. The competition is stiff. And, with college costs continuing to rise, it can be difficult for students to save money and transition into the working world. But, if you keep your head up, follow these seven smart tips, and work hard, you can land your dream job after college.
Network Like a Pro
Networking can be a daunting task because it can come across as forced or disingenuous when you’re not good at it. However, if you approach it the right way, it can be a powerful tool to help you find a job after college. Some tips for networking like a pro include:
- Show up for every event that is remotely related to your field of study. This can be from social get-togethers to academic conferences.
- Make a list of everyone you know who is employed in your desired field. Create a schedule of when and where you will meet these people.
- Leave your ego at the door and be open to making connections with people who have different goals and priorities than you do.
Write a Winning Summary
As you begin your job search, you’ll need to create a winning summary. A summary is the first impression you will make on potential employers, so be sure it is compelling. Here are a few tips for writing a winning summary:
- Start your summary with an attention-grabbing introductory sentence.
- Mention your passions and hobbies that are related to your field of study. This will show your potential employers that you have a well-rounded personality.
- Share specific examples of how your education and training have helped you in your career goals.
Develop a Powerful Cover Letter
A cover letter is the gateway drug to getting job responses. This is because it is the first thing an employer will see when s/he Googles your name. So, it’s important to make a strong first impression. Here are a few tips for writing a powerful cover letter:
- Start your letter with a powerful opening line.
- Tell the employer why they should choose you over other candidates.
- Highlight specific experiences and achievements that reflect your skills and experiences.
Take Advantage of Job-Sharing Programs
Many companies now offer job-sharing programs for their employees. This allows the company to hire two employees without having to pay for the second position. However, most programs will not hire someone who is currently enrolled in school. So, if you are looking to take advantage of these programs, make sure you have resigned from the school and are currently employed. Also, make sure the job-sharing program you choose is a good fit for you. Here are a few tips for taking advantage of job-sharing programs:
- Research different job-sharing programs and find the one that best suits your needs.
- Make sure you are aware of the caveats and restrictions of the program before signing up.
- Be flexible and ready to change plans if something better comes along.
Score an On-Campus Interview
During your student years, you probably attended dozens of job fairs and career events. You may even have received a few jobs leads from this networking and informational exposure. However, there is a good chance that all of this networking and attending events has gone to waste because you never had the opportunity to meet with hiring managers in person. Fortunately, there is hope! You can arrange a campus interview with the help of your school’s career services. Have your school send out a list of hiring managers and any companies the hiring manager would like to meet with. You can also arrange for a private interview with the hiring manager if you think that would be more appropriate. Here are a few tips for scoring an on-campus interview:
- Follow up with your leads from job fairs and career events. Ask them if they know of any open positions at their company.
- Arrange to meet with the hiring manager either during business hours or after hours.
- Remember to dress professionally and bring plenty of copies of your resume.
Attend Workshops and Conferences
Job fairs and career fairs are great places to meet employers and employees looking for job leads. However, there is a chance those events have exhausted all of the hiring managers you will ever meet. You can also meet a lot of great people that way, but there is a chance you will never meet with any hiring managers.
If you want to meet with hiring managers in a more targeted way, consider hiring a career consultant to arrange a hiring manager-specific workshop or conference. You can also try hiring a professional speaker to give a presentation on job search or interview skills. Here are a few tips for making the most of these events:
- Network like a pro with hiring managers and other professionals at the event. This will show them you are an active member of the community and give you more opportunities to meet with them.
- Bring plenty of resumes and cover letters to hand out to potential employers.
- Ask for advice from hiring managers and other professionals about how to improve your job search and interviewing skills.
Finding a job after college can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be insurmountable. With a little effort and perseverance, you can land your dream job after college. Start implementing these seven smart tips now, and you will be well on your way.