Straighten your cap, make sure your tassel is in the right spot and get ready to shake a lot of hands; it’s graduation time! For many, entering into the “real world” can be daunting, and all these reports about millennial unemployment and underemployment pile definitely add to the stress. Don’t panic if you haven’t found your opportunity yet! Instead, keep a clear mind and remember the tips below:
Tailor All Your Experience
Don’t just delete your retail or waitressing part-time job off your resume; tailor your experience toward your industry! For example, let’s say you’re looking to get into sales post-graduation. Consider the skills you learned in your part-time job, how they relate to sales and then write about it in your resume and cover letter. Just because you didn’t have a sales-specific job, it doesn’t mean you don’t have relevant experience!
Continue networking with your college connections post-graduation. Even if your network is made up of professors, classmates and internship supervisors, it’s important to keep in touch, because new opportunities can always pop up!
Nobody is born with job interviewing skills; it takes practice. You might have interviewed for previous part-time jobs, and that is a good start! To supplement your interviewing skills, research common interview questions, talk to mentors within your industry about what to expect, practice your responses to standard questions with a trusted friend and try to schedule informational interviews with organizations you’d like to work for. With all this practice, you will quickly become an interviewing pro!
As a new graduate, you need to establish yourself as a professional. Start online. If your social media presence is anything but professional, either hide it or scrub it clean. Recruiters and hiring manager really do search for their candidates online, so be prepared!
Furthermore, remember professionalism in the details, like your voicemail greeting and email address. Change your joke voicemail greeting to something simple and standard. Also, if your email address is anything but your name and maybe a couple numbers, create a new one immediately.
A positive attitude makes the job search much easier! Not only will you be better off emotionally, hiring managers will pick up on your energy and have a more favorable view about you. Two great perks to being positive!
Don’t Forget About Internships!
There is no rule saying you cannot do internships post-graduation. Sure, you’re at the point where you want to start your life, but if your dream opportunity isn’t readily available for your level of experience, there is no shame in taking the internship route. In fact, internships have become an entry-level job of sorts for many organizations, and if you want to work for that company, you must start there. Arming yourself with internship experience will greatly help your career!
The job market is still rough out there for new grads, but it’s not impossible if you work hard and remain persistent!
Have you recently graduated and found a job? Share your story and/or additional advice below!