It’s finally here – graduation day! There are probably plenty of people telling you what to do next, but is anyone preparing your next real journey: finding a job.
In almost an instant, study groups will be replaced with interviews and class time with your full-time career. We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the current job market is extremely competitive. There are plenty of positions that probably seem suitable to your skills, however without a ton of recent work experience, landing that dream job is going to take more energy than pulling an all-nighter.
Job Search Tips for College Grads
The search for your first job out of college can be overwhelming. The good news is that you can reduce the amount of the time and stress it takes by applying your scholarly skills to your job search.
Use these ten tips to organize your job search and help you to stay motivated and confident in your ability to succeed.
Have a plan
Just like you mapped out a schedule for the different stages of research paper writing, you need to have a schedule for your job quest. Set aside at least two hours per week to search for new jobs. Then, note the application deadlines in your schedule. You can use Google Calendar for a clear overview. Plan the time you will need to complete the application documents for each job, and be sure not to miss those deadlines.
Write a resume
Unfortunately, it’s not easy to create an eye-catching resume, especially when you don’t have much experience. Check out different resume samples from the industry you’re applying to and use them as inspiration. When possible, be sure to leverage the career development services at your college or university.
Keep track of job applications
To keep track of all positions you applied for, you can create an Excel chart that saves information about the position, organization, the date you applied, the application deadline, and the contacts you had in the organization. Remember when you had to reference all sources you used for your academic papers? Well, this process is similar: collect all that information in a single list and organize it according to a specific system.
Use online job boards
The main question a lot of college grads have is the best place to search for jobs. It’s important to use online job boards; specifically those resources for college grads. Also, consider smaller job boards for niche or specialty positions. Bookmark all relevant sites and check them on a weekly basis.
Don’t forget freelancing websites
Freelancing websites offer tons of opportunities for people with different skills. If, for example, you were great at academic writing, now you have an awesome opportunity to write different types of content for other people. Create profiles and start searching for jobs on some of the best platforms, such as Upwork.com, FreelancersCareers.com, NinjaEssays.com, Freelancer.com, FreelanceWritingGigs.com and Ifreelance.com.
You’ll need an organizational plan for these activities, too. Maintain a schedule for all deadlines you have for the projects, and don’t forget to search for other jobs in the meantime.
Be active on social media
Social media activity is also important when searching for job opportunities. Start by following the companies and organizations you would like to work for. That’s a good way to understand their culture and get immediate information about job openings.
Did you know that Twitter was also a job searching tool? Recruiters are using this platform to tweet about new positions on a daily basis. Create a customized Twitter job search list that includes hiring managers and recruiters, as well as job search websites. Take half an hour every day to review those tweets.
Create the perfect LinkedIn profile
Your LinkedIn profile is a virtual CV, which is not that difficult to complete. Keep the information clear, and use as few words as possible to make a point. Wordiness is not welcome in a LinkedIn profile. You’ll notice that the highlight is on experience. If you still don’t have any experience, you can feature the projects you’ve been part of, as well as internships, part-time jobs, and volunteering positions.
LinkedIn groups offer great opportunities, so make sure to join the ones related to your profession.
Plan professional emails
When you make new contacts through LinkedIn and other online tools, it’s easy to forget about the people you already knew. That’s why it’s important to maintain the current relationships. You can use a tool like Contactually, which helps you build long-lasting connections through follow-up messages.
Write great cover letters
In some cases, the cover letter is even more important than the resume. Many candidates may submit nearly identical resumes, since they have similar education and experience. When you’re hunting for your first job, it’s the cover letter that distinguishes you from the competition.
This is where your writing skills get really useful: plan the structure of your cover letters and write one at a time. You’ll need different letters for different ads, since not all employers are looking for the same skills and talents.
Don’t limit the search to the Internet
The Internet is great for discovering contacts and job ads, as well as for submitting applications. However, word of mouth is still a valid method for landing opportunities. Don’t isolate yourself from the society. Include different seminars in your schedule, and join professional organizations.
When you’re anxious about getting the first job after graduation, the best cure is to dive into the process. You’ll soon get occupied with job applications and (hopefully) interviews, so you won’t have time to stress out. Everything is easier when you’re organized!
Julie Petersen is a private English language tutor and a content marketing specialist. As the author of AskPetersen writing services reviews blog she regularly publishes valuable guides, articles, samples for students. Check one of her latest blog post about BestEssays. Contact Julie on LinkedIn.