Our Experts | Danielle Meister
The recession is over, but for recent grads it can still be tough to find a relevant job in your field of study soon after walking the stage. You might end up submitting a hundred resumes to companies without getting a single call back, if you’re approaching things the wrong way.
Job searching is a job.
For starters, all job seekers need to know that in today’s modern age, simply submitting your resume online isn’t enough. Job searching is a job in itself, and should be treated as such. Create a routine around the process, and make it fun!
With the technology and social networks available today, job seekers should take advantage of opportunities to research companies and their employees on LinkedIn. If you’re hoping to land your dream job, you should be willing to spend a full eight-hours a day, researching each company you’re applying with, including things like its culture, turnover rate, past employee reviews and current employee makeup.
While you are on LinkedIn analyzing current employees, their strengths, projects they’ve worked on and more, you also need to make sure that you have your own professional online presence. Many people, young and old, are afraid of LinkedIn. They don’t know how to use it or what to do with it, what their profile should look like and who they should connect with – it can be scary at first.
To get started, make sure to upload a headshot as your profile picture. An article on Forbes recently reported that profiles with pictures get SEVEN times more views!
Next, list the skills you have, relevant coursework, organizations you were involved in, volunteer experience, and any big projects you worked on. Join LinkedIn groups that pertain to your interests and job search. Connect with professionals you know and invite others to connect with you using a personalized message. Tell them why you want to connect with them, and attach your resume. Share relevant articles on your page and try to write a couple of your own. Most importantly, keep an eye out for job openings and apply to any that interest you. After you begin to build your network, people will start reaching out to you, too.
It is also not enough to just apply for jobs solely online. Many companies don’t post openings on their website. They rely on staffing companies, or internal referrals for all hiring needs. In order to apply for these positions, you have to go to the company directly and drop off a resume.
Aside from visiting companies, you should consider joining organizations that will help you connect with the right people. Joining professional organizations, networking groups and social groups can be a huge boost to your search. After all, most people tend to get new positions through networking. Attending events and talking to other professionals makes you more likely to be recommended for a job in the future. It’s also important to tell other professionals, friends and even family about your job search. Everyone knows someone that’s hiring.
Deceptive job offers.
To make matters worse, many company’s recruiters will try to target recent grads for their sales positions. Luckily, it’s easy to get a job in sales, if that’s what you want. People in other fields, such as marketing, HR and finance are usually the target of deceptive sales jobs. They are presented as “marketing,” but the description is vague and it’s hard to get clear answers of what your day-to-day duties will entail. In this case – run the other way. Don’t let companies deceive you into being a door-to-door salesperson. Always ask for clear answers and a detailed explanation of the job duties.
When you get offered an interview, check the company’s reviews on sites like Glassdoor to see truthful evaluations from real employees, past and present. Check the company website and watch to see if there are evergreen positions – the ones that are always open and most likely have a high turnover rate. If there are jobs that always need filled, there is probably a reason. Figure out which companies are worth your time – because your time is worth something.
Once you start to land interviews, remember to stay positive. Even if you have been looking for a job for months, try not to sound desperate. You want to let your passion and excitement shine through. It’s also important as a recent grad to sell your soft skills and personality. You might not have a lot of experience yet, so make sure to let them know you have a strong work ethic and a good foundation of knowledge from your education. Skills can be taught but your personality and character will remain static.
Set realistic expectations and don’t give up.
Finally, don’t get discouraged. Between hours of applying, no call backs and even deceptive job offers, it can be easy to get down. You have to remember that many people started where you are right now, as a new grad with high hopes and big dreams. The first job you take does not have to be your dream job. Most college graduates take their first job to gain experience.
If you’re still struggling, use a recruiter.
If you are still struggling, find a reputable staffing firm and get help from a recruiter – free of charge. Recruiters can have your back in your search and find openings that you might never see. They even have insights on career paths that maybe you never even considered. A job search can be tough, especially as a new grad, but you don’t have to do it alone. Use these tips, contact a recruiter and, above all, don’t give up.