Many students are naturally concerned about finding that all-important first job to kick off their career and get their foot in the door of their chosen industry. In today’s competitive market, this is a valid concern. Yet, there are plenty of tips to help give you a competitive advantage to stand out on applications and land an interview.
Finishing college is a huge milestone, and one that should be celebrated, not feared. It opens up new opportunities as you head off to start your career. Here are five job hunting tips to put your mind at ease as you prepare to enter your next chapter.
- Do your research
It’s important to know the industry you’re heading into thoroughly and understand exactly what employers are looking for. For example, a legal resume will be very different from a business resume, both in terms of format and in the necessary skills you need to highlight. Make sure you know what needs to be included. While many job ads will specify what they need from your application, others won’t. You can always search online for sample resumes in your line of work if you aren’t sure where to start.
- Sell yourself
Many people are shy about selling their skills and knowledge. Yet, for a business to have confidence in you, you must have confidence in yourself first. If you were renting an apartment for college students and took up a part-time job to pay your share, consider including this on your resume and highlight just how transferable your skills are. While being a retail staff at the local department store may not seem very relatable to your marketing degree, you have the opportunity to spin your skillset. After all, it has taught you how to communicate with customers and the importance of marketing different products to different customers based on their interests and needs. These are key components of a marketing career. Don’t be afraid to talk up your skills and experience.
- Ask for a second set of eyes
Once you have your application ready, ask someone close to you to look it over for you. It’s surprising how many errors can crop up when you are filling out multiple applications. When it comes to standing out in a crowd, spelling mistakes are one thing that will set you back – yet they are so simple to fix. It can be hard to proof your own work, which is why an extra set of eyes is so helpful.
- Be patient
It can take time to find a job, so be patient with the process. Set aside time each day to search for jobs and apply for them, but never rush it. When you rush the process, you are more likely to make mistakes or leave out information, which means you will be overlooked and have in fact wasted your time. If you are going to apply, do it properly, giving each application the time and attention it deserves.
- Don’t be scared
If you make it to an interview, well done! It’s all too easy to get a little scared at the thought of a face-to-face interview, but this fear can show. Instead of thinking of it as an interrogation, consider it a business meeting between colleagues. They are already interested in you and your skillset; now, they want to learn more about your personality, so let it shine and don’t hide behind the nerves.
Job hunting can be a time-consuming process and you may hit some road bumps along the way. Just know that the right career can take time to find. Persevere, and before you know it, you will have landed that perfect job.