It is no secret that landing a job that aligns with your professional aspirations and skillset is tough when you are a fresh college graduate. This year that outlook is even bleaker. The unemployment rate in the United States jumped to 14.7 percent in April 2020, the highest in history. The struggle to land a job post-graduation has only intensified due to the current condition of the world’s economy and the coronavirus pandemic.
While your grades may be strong, landing your first job is going to be a challenge. However, there are useful tips that can save you all some unwanted struggle and accelerate the process.
1) Leverage Networking
Today, many industry experts admit that the majority of open positions are found through networking. Therefore, when looking for your first job, invest your valuable time into setting up your professional network online rather than pouring through anonymous listings.
Networking is not about talking to as many people as possible. It is about meeting a few well-connected people who can vouch for your ability and are willing to place trust in your caliber without second thoughts when a relevant opportunity pops up. Start to identify your list of potential networking opportunities.
2) Build a Strong Resume
One way to rise above the competition is to use the resume template in Job Search Master Class® or one of the latest resume templates and ensure your resume is packed with achievements, and not just the tasks you have done. But then again, do not lie on your resume. Ornamenting your skills slightly to position yourself in the best light is equivalent to outright misrepresenting your potential.
You must also ensure that your resume is grammatically sound since such errors usually indicate a lack of attention to detail and carelessness on the part of a candidate.
3) Do your Research
Read up about the organization before you set foot in their office for an interview. Take some time, beforehand, to learn as much as you can online. Prepare for different interview styles. Then, tap into your network to see who can help provide you with an edge over the other candidates.
If you do your research about their company, you will leave a better impression on the hiring manager.
4) First Impression = Last Impression
It is incredibly important to be mindful of how you present yourself for an interview. If you are unsure about proper interview attire, ask about the company dress code or wear business casuals to be safe.
Confidence is key, but practicing proper etiquette is equally important. Remember, you can never make another first impression.
5) Be Proactive with Follow-ups
Lastly, if you do not already have the organization’s correspondence details, ask for them before leaving the interview. Send a thank-you email within 24 hours of the interview. It is a simple practice that many applicants forget, but it can make all the difference. Industry experts agree that a thank-you note can make you stand out from other applicants.
Additionally, ask about the next steps, so you have a timeframe and know when it is appropriate to follow up. And do not forget to follow up at least three times after your interview – yes, three times.
Landing your first job and ensuring it is good is not as difficult as it seems. You need to focus on the right things and be patient with the process. Follow these simple steps and believe in yourself. We all know, Rome was not built in a day!
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