It has come to my attention that there are some job seekers out there who do not know exactly how to find employment in their field quickly and efficiently. They think they are ready once they have a cover letter and resume prepared. Believe me, there is more to an effective job search than that. A few more tips:
1. Schedule time for your job search and use your time wisely: Now that you are a college graduate, getting the job is a high priority. Treat your job search as a high priority. Decide when you want to work on your job search every day. Morning, afternoon, or evening? I recommend at least four hours per day either on line, networking, or doing informational interviewing with people who are in the industry that you hope to be working in. Schedule your time just like you scheduled study time while you were in college.
2. Continuously apply until you have a job offer: Some people stop filling out job applications as soon as they get a job interview. Do not waste time like that. Continue to complete applications and get your resume out there until you have a job offer. Often we go through several interviews before we land a position. This is normal. The experts say that job seeking is a game of odds. You need to fill out X number of applications to land an interview and you need to go through X number of interviews to land a job. Do not get discouraged. Job seeking is a process; a process that goes a whole lot smoother if you are on top of your game!
3. Get help preparing for an interview: College Career Services departments generally have staff that can help with interview preparation, whether they can offer a video, interviewing tips handouts, or even a mock interview. Many people find it difficult to put themselves in the employer or HR recruiters shoes. If you are one of those people pick up the book, “Knock Em Dead; With Great Answers to Tough Interview Questions” by Martin Yate. I have never read this book cover to cover, but the few chapters I read definitely helped me see the importance of putting myself into the interviewers shoes. If you know why the interviewer is asking the question he/she is asking you are better able to give an intelligent answer.
4. Never give up: If you have to take a job outside of your career goal for a time in order to survive (have an income), do it; but always continue to conduct a job search that will get you into the industry you are striving to get into. Expect to start out at the bottom and work your way up. That is simply how it works.
5. Step back and take a look at the big picture every few weeks: Some people just plow forward applying for anything and everything that even remotely comes close to their skills set. We only have so much time in life, so one must choose the jobs that come closest to our goal. Currently there are more jobs than people out there so you have plenty of job opportunities to choose from. Prioritize all opportunities. Apply for those that you have the best chance of landing first. Now step further back. How are you spending your time each day? Are you spending all your time using one job search method? If all your time is spent filling out on line applications and attaching a resume you are not thinking broadly enough. How much networking are you doing? How much informational interviewing are you doing? Networking is still the #1 way to find employment – that means talking to people, not staying holed up in front of your computer applying for jobs. Try to find that fine balance.
6. Ask for help when you need it: I really can’t say enough about this. If you are a recent college student, have you visited your College’s Career Services office? They are there for you. Friends and relatives can be a huge boost as well. Do reach out when needed.