Hello to all my scared, confused, and frustrated recent grads! Hope you’re well and not going insane over this whole “you must find a job” thing. Right now, you’re probably thinking, “What am I doing wrong? I have a degree! I did well in school! Why don’t I have a job?” Hopefully, these tips will help put you on the path to employment.
Do: Realize College Is Over
Many of my friends graduated yet still held on to their college lives. They thought that they could still go out every night, drink until the world turned blurry, and sleep in until noon and would somehow still be able to find work.
This does not happen. College was a glorious four-year period. But, it’s over. Take good care of your body. Go to bed early, get healthy amounts of sleep, and eat right! No employer is going to want to hire someone that looks hung-over, depressed, or sleep-deprived.
Seriously…drink some tea, exercise, watch what you eat, and enjoy life being a college grad.
Do: Become A Brand
You need to realize that you, your name, and your image are now wrapped up in the brand that is, well, you! What you put online is considered a “digital shadow.” Anything you say, upload, or even retweet becomes a part of you. Make sure your brand is a good representation of your professional attitude.
Don’t: Forget To Use Twitter And Facebook In Your Job Search
I was always told to hide my Facebook and Twitter pages when searching for a job. However, I decided not to. In an age when even your 92 year-old Grandma has a Facebook, employers aren’t going to play dumb. Give up the act; they know you’re social!
Instead of hiding, make your social network a voice. If you volunteer in your spare time, post photos. If you are looking for a job, tell people! Posting a simple status such as “Hey friends, I’m looking for work in the Chicago area. Any help is appreciated” is a great way to reach out to your valuable social network! (Hey, it’s called a ‘network’ for a reason.)
In terms of Twitter, USE TWITTER. I can not emphasize this enough. Let’s say you are looking for a Marketing internship in Atlanta. Go to Twitter and, in the search bar, type “Marketing Intern Georgia.” A plethora of options should show up. If not, try other key words. Even if your perfect job doesn’t appear, it will at least show you companies that are hiring in your area!
Also, friend and follow potential and/or interesting employers! This is one of the best ways to learn about a company. Use LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, CareerBuilder, and many other social networks to aid your search.
Do: Be In-Your-Face
Note: you can send more than two emails! Be in your face and show the employer that you want this job! It takes two minutes to send an email. Employers are busy people and often put off the hiring process until they are desperate. Always email employers to say thank you and check in during the job search process.
Don’t: Forget To Update Your Resume At Least Once A Month
Your resume should never feel stale. Keep it updated every month. This should also remind you to be active while job searching. Volunteer, shadow business professionals, and even read career-related books. Never, ever just sit on your butt waiting for the perfect job. Make sure your résumé is changing and growing with experience!
Do: Set Goals
Right now, like many other recent grads, I’m living at home.
My next goal: By New Years, I want to know where I see myself living. This does not mean I’ll be living there; I just want to know the path to achieve my goal.
Remember when the goal was to graduate? Well, congrats, you did that. Now, you need some new goals. Setting goals is a great way to survive in this new period of post-college life. Make a list of career (and social goals) you want to achieve this month, year, and 5 years down the line. This is a great way to prioritize your life to make sure that if you get a job offer, it aligns with your life goals.
Do: Eliminate Stupid Stress
This is something I had trouble with. In college, you sometimes have to deal with people you don’t like, professors who for some reason hate students, and social commitments that made you stay up until 3am. In this period of life, take care of yourself. Job-hunting is stressful. Having to deal with that stress plus “stupid” stress will only make things worse. Once again, college is over (hey that must be the theme of this article!) and your priority should be YOU! Start being selfish. This exercise will also build self-confidence. If you can be happy with yourself, employers will be happy with you.
Don’t: Forget Patience Is A Virtue
Be patient. The perfect job is right around the corner. Or if not, the awful-paying yet wonderful-experience-gaining job is! Take opportunities that will let you grow as a person. Say no to job offers that make you anxious, question your morals, or just make you feel uncomfortable.
Remember to breathe, relax, and keep your eyes open. Getting a job ASAP is not the goal…. The goal is to get started on a rewarding career.