You are nearing the end of your senior year of college or have just graduated and are now ready to enter the job market. What do you do to prepare adequately for job hunting? Do you send out applications to every company that has a job opening or do you strategize your way to building a career path?
Below are some steps that you could take to prepare for your future as a professional.
Build a strong network
Through building and maintaining networks, you will get wind of new job opportunities as they arise. From instructors, fellow students, alumni to friends and family, you can easily create a network that will prove beneficial to you at some point in your life. You will most likely learn of job offers from people you interact with on a regular basis.
Create a Resume and Cover Letter that is impressive
Your resume and cover letter should highlight your strengths as a professional. A potential employer would want to know of what importance you will be to their company. What will you bring to the company that will contribute towards the company’s goals? Your resume should state your accomplishments and thus be professionally impressive. You can read more about how to make a great cover letter on cover letter tips and how to make a great resume from resume tips
Have a list of companies that you would want to work for
It’s important to target companies that you believe will be helpful in your career. You can start by listing these companies then do a research on them. Researching helps you to familiarize with the company. You can make use of popular search engines to discover details about a particular company.
Prepare for a professional adult life
You probably have profiles in the most popular social sites, but in what way do you use your social sites? You can change your presence in these sites to suit your professional life. You do not want a future employer stumbling upon a profile that depicts you in bad light. The time is now to become more marketable and approachable.
Seek Internships or volunteer at well-established companies
As a new graduate, you may seek internships or volunteer your services at companies that are respectable or trusted. By interning, you enhance your practical skills and this gives you the experience you need to start your career. Volunteering on the other hand shows your employer your determination to make it no matter the circumstances.
Prepare for that interview
You have managed to secure an interview but how prepared are you? Take your time to do your research on the position you are interviewing for. Preparation gets you ready for any random questions that may be asked. Dress the part; wear appropriate clothes to look responsible. We have a list of interview tips and Interview do’s and don’ts that will help clarify issues
Find a mentor
A mentor guides you into making the right career choices. This could be anyone in your family, a former employer or friends. You could also find someone – through your network- that works in a position that’s similar to what you are interested in. Have them share their experiences with you so that you can get an idea of what your day at work may be like.
Make use of your Career Services Offices
Career services are there to help you prepare for your future as a professional. They’ll help with mock interviews, connect you to the outside world through career experts, organize self-assessment tests and help you develop resumes or cover letters that are interesting.
Apply to different positions
As you are starting out, you don’t have to be very picky or specific in the positions you apply for. You can practice flexibility in that you can seek an opportunity that’s not necessarily your dream job but one that can mold your future career path.
Landing your dream job may take longer than you expected. It’s therefore imperative that one practices patience. Yes, you may send out applications to whoever you choose, but understand also that not everyone will respond to you. You can however do a follow up on interviews that you’ve attended in the recent past.
Provide a contact whether email address or cell phone number that a potential employer can reach you by. Don’t lose out on a big opportunity by missing an important detail such as a phone number.
Make Use of Job Hunting Sites
There are several trusted job-hunting sites that you could regularly visit to find out about new job postings or openings. Examples include CollegeRecruiter.com, Indeed and AfterCollege.com.
Make use of Social Media
Sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Craigslist could be used to one’s advantage especially is you are looking for a job to start off your career. Some of these sites such as LinkedIn could be used for networking purposes, where one can find new job openings.