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27 Tricks to Getting Your First Job Out of College
It would be great if you had an offer in hand before you graduate, but life seldom works out that way. And if you are a new grad, who has not held a job before, you face the barrier of having no work experience. What can you do when you do not have any work history to lean on? Actually, there is a lot you can do, and the process starts long before you graduate from college or university. Getting your first job can be both exciting and overwhelming, but there are steps you can take to manage the process, making it appear seamless.
Create Social Media Profiles
- Before you graduate, create social media profiles and keep your status updates professional and current. Connect with recruiters, and people in firms that you would like to work for one day.
- Participate in work-related Twitter chats to keep up-to-date on what’s going on in the fields that you are interested in.
- Join relevant groups on social media and make sure that you actively participate.
- Regularly update your status - share relevant articles so you become known as the person who shares “cool and interesting” information.
- Share interesting school projects (if you are allowed to) that you are working on.
- As you evolve, so should your LinkedIn profile. That means, as soon as you acquire new skills, add them to your profile. Optimize your profile for search by including keywords.
- Market yourself as a professional.
- When you are about to graduate, let your connections know that you are looking for a job.
Create a Personal Website
- Because you are a student, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have a website. In fact, having one will set you apart from your peers.
- Showcase your portfolio, even if you do not have that much to share. People will understand because they know you are a student.
- Blog at least once a month to start developing expertise. There are things that you know that others know, and even if they know it, your spin on it will be unique.
- Interview industry experts, then offer the interviews as a series of podcasts.
- Curate content, adding your unique spin.
- Write opinion pieces.
Get Involved with Your School’s Alumni Group
- Volunteer at alumni events, even if it’s working at the registration desk.
- Ask the alumni office to schedule informational interviews with three graduates who work in fields that you are interested in. Your role is not to ask these alumni for a job, but to gather intelligence about the fields - that is, insider information. If they ask for your resume, by all means send it to them, but wait for them to make the offer first.
Utilize Your School’s Career Office
- Check regularly to see what jobs are available via the school’s career office.
- Apply for the jobs that you are interested in.
- Attend job fairs that the career office hosts.
Join Industry Associations
- Most associations have affordable student rates, so join one or two.
- Know what the benefits of membership are, and capitalize on the ones that are beneficial to you.
- You may be busy with school work, but set aside time to attend events. Think of it as the time you are investing in your future.
- Connect with people whom you meet at networking events. It is never too early to start developing your network of contacts.
- If the organization offers a mentoring program, make sure that you participate by getting a mentor. Find ways to give back to your mentor - you may be able to help him or her to understand new technology.
Your Resume Format Matters
- When you have little or no work experience, emphasize your education, school projects, hobbies and volunteer experience.
Getting Your First Job
- Make a list of the companies that you would like to work for.
- Conduct research on each of the companies on your list.
- Think about your future goals. What would you like to accomplish during your first three years of working.
- Use your goals to whittle down the list of companies.
- Utilize every job search strategy - upload your resume to job boards, respond to ads, and network to gain access to hidden jobs.
Related Post: Improving Your Job Search Success
Finding your first job can be difficult because you do not have any work experience to lean on, but if you are proactive, and start implementing the above strategies long before you are ready to graduate, you will land your first job in record time.
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