If you haven’t realized its almost May of 2013, that’s right, almost half the year has flown by and I cannot believe it! For many of us in the early, mid or late 20’s this time of the year means one thing, graduation season. What does graduation season follow up with? Job hunting and doing it with a flood of recent degree-recipients. If you also happen to live in a dense college area, such as Boston, the odds are staked even more against you since there are SO many graduates from SO many colleges. Searching for your first job after college is tough, at first everyone is eager and determined. Waking up early to get to job postings first and send your resume in. Trips to coffee shops for potential interviews or trips into the city with hours to spare since you thought finding parking would be troublesome but ended up easy. After a few weeks, maybe one or two calls and an interview, but no luck with any meaningful progress, you might start to think twice about the whole “getting a job after college” thing.
In a recent study performed by Rutgers University in 2012, it was discovered that only 37% of graduates received salaried positions right out of college. Only 39% of hired graduates work in fields that are related to their degrees, and a staggering 42% of the post-collegiate jobs surveyed were just jobs that paid the bills.
There are tactics for your job search that can really help you differentiate yourself from many of the competition while making your job search easier, more convenient and productive for yourself. The most important tactic is preparation You must be personally prepared for the job hunt battle and not be discouraged as things become difficult.
According to Forbes, these six things must be done in order to successfully find a job:
1) Make a LinkedIn profile
2) Make a WordPress site and start blogging <<< REALLY?!?!?!
3) Get an internship
4) Find a mentor
5) Utilize you school’s career services office
6) Join a career or industry specific group
While I don’t necessarily think the WordPress blog is a requirement, unless of course your career falls in line with blogging, aside from that the list from Forbes is right on and I can vouch for each item. LinkedIn is such an important tool, I cannot stress this enough. I found my current position 100% via LinkedIn. I applied for it with my profile (not my resume) and was contacted for an interview from that application. Internships, mentors and utilizing your schools career services all go hand in hand. Your internship is a critical component for your first job since for many the internship may be the highlight of your resume, aside from waitress jobs and retail positions. Mentors and career service centers are great to foster relationships and make new contacts in the “real world” that you can utilize in the future. Career and industry groups are great, however, this might not be applicable for recent grads as some groups have requirements of hours worked and experience levels. My suggestion to this item is to join LinkedIn and local/regional FREE groups that maintain a similar premise.