Recent graduates may be lost when it comes to finding a job. The tips gathered below are designed to ease the transition from school life to work life by helping you get that job posting you’ve been looking at. While many graduates know the effect social networks can have on a job hunt, and how to clean up a profile, it takes more than deleting a few old Facebook photos to attract an employer. These tips are specifically meant to assist in networking, the search itself, and helping get you ready for professional success in a career.
1. Don’t use the same cover letter for every job. Each employer has different things they’re looking for, so make sure you have a cover letter that’s tailored towards the employer’s needs with each application you send in. Also try having a few different resumes available, again based on the needs of each job.
2. There are four types of job websites that can be of great assistance to a job search:
- General (LinkedIn, CareerBuilder, Indeed)
- Field-specific (those that are created for a certain field)
- Location-Specific (Some sites post jobs based on city or state, rather than field)
- Social Networks
Look around, and search everywhere. You won’t see a dream job every day, or even one that you qualify for, so the wider your search, the greater your chances.
3. Keep your search organized. Getting your resume to every single employer that has a job you qualify for takes time and dedication. The last thing you want to do is spend hours applying for the same position multiple times, or sending several e-mails to the same person without realizing it. Keep an accurate list of what you’ve applied for and when, as well as the employer name.
4. Network. You need to display your talents and interests without that desperate tone some job hunters get. Social networks are a great way to show what you can do and how well you can do it. Your expertise displays most clearly in your daily activities, so keep updates on what you’re doing that’s related to a field. Posting and commenting on news stories or interesting articles in your field of choice can boost your credibility and generate interest in potential employers. Remember to keep a certain tone of curiosity about learning more in the field, and show a willingness to work hard. Some employers focus entirely on dedication and potential of new employees.
5. Go through your social media accounts and get rid of certain photos. You don’t want a potential employer to search your Facebook and find an entire album dedicated to party photos. Even a Twitter account can have a professional look based on your postings. Also consider the tool Facewash, which is designed to clean up a Facebook account by finding inappropriate language or potentially negative comments. Remember that a lot of employers receive hundreds of applications every week, so don’t give them an easy reason to count you out.
6. Show your knowledge of industry terms and phrases. Networking within the industry can provide a huge advantage, as it gives you the opportunity to learn the lingo professionals use. Work those into your daily vocabulary on social networking sites, and become comfortable tossing in field-specific phrases. It shows the employer you are not only interested in the field, but understand some commonly used terms that are needed to function more effectively. While using formal language has its place, overuse of formality can be as much of a turn off as using shorthand in an official resume. Always listen carefully to how your employer speaks, and try to use a mix of formal and professional language. The same advice goes for clothing. A suit and tie may have once been the standard, but some employers go for a more casual atmosphere. Dress for the job, and do your research on each company so you don’t start off in the wrong mindset.
7. Keep a list of your goals. Technology is wonderful in how easily it allows you to keep track of progress of any kind, and gives you a very quick way to review notes, update goals, and add on extra progress or objectives. While a physical list can be helpful, paper is lost or thrown away often. A digital file is far easier to keep track of. It is always a good idea to bring a small notebook to an interview for extra notes, but make sure you add those to the file once you get the opportunity. An organized list can keep you optimistic, and watching your job search progress just makes it that much easier to see how far you’ve come.