You’ve made it through your college career and earned your diploma. The hard part is over, right? Well…not so fast. Job hunting is no easy feat, and it’s even more challenging when it’s your first go at applying for full time positions. Keep these six tips in mind before you get started.
1. Don’t rule out internships and fellowships.
Applying…interviewing…applying more…and still not getting a full time offer? Hey, it’s tough out there! Keep in mind that it’s not uncommon to snag another internship after graduating. Sometimes you just need a little bit more experience under your belt before you land a full time offer. Be patient—your time will come!
2. Look beyond job boards.
Of course, job boards like Monster and Indeed are great tools for finding open positions—but don’t limit yourself! We’re living in a digital age with tons of resources available, so don’t be afraid to utilize social media. Joining your school’s alumni groups on Facebook is a great place to exchange info about job opportunities. Or, did you know you can let recruiters know you’re job searching on LinkedIn? Head to your privacy settings and make sure to turn this option on.
3. Do your research.
These days, it’s not enough to just have the skills. It’s often not even enough to just memorize the job description you’re applying for—even if they provide a little blurb about the company. Start out by browsing through the company’s entire website, but don’t stop there. Check out the company’s social media sites, look through any recent press they’re mentioned in, and even check out some LinkedIn profiles of employees within the company. The more you know, the more you can impress on interview day.
4. Think outside the box.
In some industries, standing out is really hard. Think about what you can do to go beyond just the resume and cover letter that every applicant sends in. For example, some people strengthen their personal brand by creating their own online portfolio. Others enhance their LinkedIn profiles by politely asking past employers to leave recommendations on their page. You can think of strategies unique to your field of interest, too. For example, an aspiring graphic designer may turn their resume into a creative work of art.
5. Prepare your interview answers, but don’t memorize word for word.
There are two types of common interviewees. Those that don’t prepare their interview answers at all (and it shows!), and those who memorize their answers word for word and end up sounding robotic and unnatural. Your interview shouldn’t feel like you’re reciting a memorized speech, but you definitely want to feel confident that you can deliver strong answers before you walk through the door.
6. Remember to say thanks.
It’s such a simple gesture, but so many people forget this. Reaching out after your interview to say “thank you” shows appreciation, and it may just be the one thing that sets you apart from another applicant.
Do you have any more job hunting advice for our readers? Share your thoughts in the comments below!