It’s finally here, graduation! You have successfully made it through years of studying and hard work, and now it’s time to head into the real world.
Follow these tips to get started with your job hunt.
1. Personalize Your Resume
Your resume is perfected, but unfortunately it’s not done yet. This is a living document, and should be personalized for each position you apply for. Each company will value certain skills over others, so make sure you highlight what’s most important first. Swap in bullet points, and make sure your descriptions match what the recruiter is looking for. It doesn’t take much time and will help you stand out in a sea of other candidates.
2. Utilize Your Network
Make sure everyone knows your are job searching. Tell your friends, your parents' friends, your friends' parents...everyone. When you find a connection, ask to schedule an informational interview to get more insight into an industry or company. If someone has a job referral, ask for an introduction and to forward your resume.
Also reach out to your professors or Dean and ask for a reference. Then touch base with them every two to three months, keeping them updated with what you’re doing. Building long-lasting relationships is an easy way to start developing your network. They may have contacts in the industry you want to work in, or they could simply have good advice for the job search.
3. Do Your Research
Make a short list of companies you’re interested in and research them. Read their blog, look at press they've received, and scan their social channels. Really dig into why you want to work there, so when it's time to apply and interview you're fully prepared.
Want to take an extra step? Reach out to current employees on LinkedIn. Explain that you’re a recent graduate, and ask if they’d be willing to talk about their career path.
4. Go Door Knocking
Sales people go “door knocking” for business: they go door-to-door and pitch themselves and their product or service. If you’re feeling gutsy, get out there and do the same! Grab that list of companies you're interested in and drop off your cover letter and resume at the front desk.
Not many people attempt to door knock for their careers, especially not recent graduates… but it shows guts and initiative. A company will remember you when you show up at their front door to apply for a role.
5. Go to Alumni and Networking Events
Many graduates are intimidated by networking events or don’t fully understand how they work. Wherever you live after school, your university likely has an alumni chapter to join. Connecting with older alumni is an easy and effective way to build a network early, and people are usually more willing to recommend fellow alums for roles.
At every event, try approaching someone new, giving your elevator pitch, and starting a conversation. It can be nerve-wracking at first, but it gets easier! This is a great way to practice your networking skills.
6. How You Say Thank You Matters
Everyone is going to send a Thank You email, but not everyone will take the time to send a handwritten note. It only takes a few minutes and this extra thoughtfulness just might make you stand out over another candidate with similar qualifications.
Want to learn more about what your peers are looking for in their new career? Check out our white paper on What the Class of 2017 Wants.