Does finding a career after graduating feel impossible? “I submitted 30 applications but haven’t gotten a response. I had my first interview but didn’t make it to the second round. It feels like I need the experience to get experience. I have no idea how to turn my major into a job I want.” Sound familiar?
Top companies want tech-savvy employees with relevant skills, compelling personal brands, and meaningful internships. They want people who can quickly be productive in their organization. That’s a tall order for seasoned professionals, let alone a recent college graduate. In fact, less than 50% of recent grads report feeling prepared for their career.
That’s where we come in. Here are our top job search tips for new or soon-to-be grads.
Leverage All Of Your Experience
If you’ve never had a job or an internship before, don’t panic. Your education and extracurriculars have given you a variety of applicable skills. The key is framing them properly. For example, if you wrote for your student media outlet, highlight your written and verbal communication skills. Talk about your growth as a leader if you held an executive position in a student organization, or if you took a finance class, point out your Excel experience and analytical abilities.
Grow Your Network
…online and offline. If you don’t already have a LinkedIn profile, it’s high time you make one. And if you’re acquainted with “Facebook with a bowtie,” optimize your profile by writing an engaging summary, adding keywords where applicable, and using the platform at least three times a week. It can also be helpful to reach out to your real-life contacts for advice and referrals or attend a career fair.
Tailor Every Job Application
Yes, you read that right: Every. Single. One. Employers look for candidates who are already invested in their company’s mission and success, so crafting an individualized cover letter shows that you’re not submitting dozens of applications and seeing what sticks. You should also tailor your resume to the positions you are applying for, listing your most relevant experiences and adding keywords that appear in the job description.
Create a Portfolio
Most recruiters will ask for samples of your work, and a digital portfolio is a great way to show your capabilities. Whether showcasing projects from past internships, reports written about topics in your field, or designs, having your best work (and your resume) on a professional website demonstrates both talent and dedication to your field.
Franklin Buchanan and the team at Post Up Careers can help you land the perfect job – even if you’re just starting out. We’ll help you navigate every stage of the job search process, from initial goal setting to salary negotiations. Contact us to schedule a career coaching appointment.