Let’s face it, the job market can be tough. It may seem easy to obtain an entry level job straight out of college, but nowadays the market is full of competition; competition that has more job experience than you. Sometimes having a degree won’t cut it, you need more. Use these tips to ensure that you are prepared to enter into your first career job before you graduate.
In college, clubs are an excellent way to make friends and grow your professional network. If you’re struggling to find a career path, you can rely on the people you’ve met to help guide and support your efforts. When you are part of a club you learn valuable team-building skills that are resume worthy. Keep your club members close, they will be facing the same market as you when applying for jobs.
Look Before You Graduate
It can be tempting to wait until you’ve earned your degree, but realistically it can take up to 5 months to land a job. Start crafting mock resumes and editing them according to skills that you’ve gained in various classes. If you already have an idea of the field you want to enter into, start hunting on local job boards and reading the requirements companies want. Some jobs even mention that they are hiring later in the year, so if you find one that you are interested in, apply right away.
Think Like a Recruiter
Recruiters want their businesses and clients to thrive. If you don’t feel like you connect with a company then recruiters can tell. Don’t apply for just the sake of applying. Not all recruiters are direct employees of the company too. In Boise, for instance, some recruiting firms like TalentSpark are outsourced to speed up the hiring process. You need to think about not only impressing the company leaders, but also the people trained to hire top-notch candidates. Companies do this because of the sheer volume of applicants so they need a quick and effective solution for weeding out the ones that don't fit.
The convenience of applying online can make it easy for you to just blast your resume out to every single job that “seems good enough”. Sadly, there are online systems that will immediately eliminate your application before it lands in front of a real person's eyes. Tailor your resume to each job and be a little picky with your selection, you want it to land in front of someone, not be thrown out because it didn’t meet the online requirements. Also, read the whole post, some companies and recruiters put specific directions on applications that should be followed.
Applying after you graduate is a waiting game. Once you’ve submitted your resumes and cover letters, the ball is in their court. Recruiters and companies are sifting through many applications looking for that one application that stands out. Recruiters spend on average 7.4 seconds looking at applications, so the readability of your application is very important. When they decide to schedule interviews it usually isn’t until a week or two after narrowing the applicant pool. Then after your interview, it can take another week until they decide upon who to hire. You can expect the whole process to take about 2-4 weeks long.
A lot of graduates will stay within the state their college is in. If you don’t fall into this category, then it’s time to leave the college nest. You’re young and can move around. Explore the states that you’ve always wanted to be in. Every city and state varies on competition and job opportunities too. There are Boise recruiting companies that will only hire candidates that match a company’s culture, so make an effort to learn about the company and city you want to relocate to before packing.
Perhaps one of the more difficult topics is your money situation. This can go hand in hand with relocating. Moving and looking for jobs can be expensive. Whether it’s moving states, taking days off of your part-time job, or buying professional clothing, it all adds up. It is not the end of the world if you have to move back in with your parents. Once you land your career job, you will start building a steady income to move out and be more independent. You will also learn that not every entry career job is salaried, so take into account your spending habits before applying.
Take Advantage of Professor Knowledge
Your professors are a great resource for mentoring and advice. Some of them have not been teachers their whole lives. A lot of times they have real world job experience, that is very applicable to your situation. It’s not a bad thing to befriend your professors, they are (hopefully) there to help you succeed after graduation. Consider connecting with them on LinkedIn too. When you connect your network with theirs, the job opportunities become that much more attainable.
Don’t Lose Sight of Yourself
Perhaps the most important piece of advice that should not be overlooked is to just be yourself. Don’t settle for a company you don’t feel comfortable being a part of. Luckily, you can usually tell through the interview process what the culture is like and decide from there. Nerves and trying to be the best of the best can cause you to act robotic and unrelatable. Try to relax, the company you work for is a long term commitment. Nowadays companies want you for the long term too, so if you don’t naturally fit in, it’s obvious.
Don't Give Up
It is very draining to apply and be rejected over and over again. This can really take a toll on your confidence. Don’t give up. It’s ok to take on a job that isn’t ideal at first just to make ends meet. Soon enough you will find a company that wants you just as much as you want them. Don’t let the rejections stop you from applying, we all deserve a chance at pursuing a career. This is also a great time to look into other job titles and responsibilities that aren’t exactly what you want. You may find out that a small stepping stone is all you need to get to where you want to be later on.