If you graduated college this past spring, congratulations! You’ve reached an exciting milestone in your life.
There are many different paths to take post-graduation, but if you’re going to put what you’ve learned to use and jump into the workforce, take some time to prepare and get everything you need in order—that way, you will have a much easier and less stressful job-hunting experience.
Follow these six job-hunting tips to get the most from your post-graduate career search.
Prepare a solid resume
The first thing a prospective employer will look at when considering a new hire is their resume. Resumes are not the best method of telling if a job candidate is a perfect fit, but they do get applicants noticed during the job-hunting process.
Put together a resume with bulletproof spelling and grammar that highlights the best of your professional and leadership experiences in one page.
Depending on your industry, resume styles may vary. A marketing resume might be flashy with colors while a finance resume should be clean and linear, like a finance report.
Search online to find sample resumes that work well in your target industry or career path. Also look to your favorite word processor, like Microsoft Word or Google Docs, for templates you can use to get started.
Polish your LinkedIn profile
Don’t put that resume away, once you have it ready—you’ll want it handy for the next step in job-search preparation.
In the modern Internet era, a high-quality LinkedIn profile is another important tool when it comes to landing a great position. If prospective employers search for your name online, a LinkedIn profile will be one of the first things they see, so it’s another opportunity to make a good impression.
Your LinkedIn profile should have a similar career history as your resume, but feel free to add more than one page of details.
Adding a list of major accomplishments and successes in past positions, along with a portfolio when appropriate, can show off the best of your job history as well as what makes you stand out from the crowd.
Double-check your social media presence
After they click on LinkedIn, your potential boss will most likely take a few more minutes to hunt down your information on Google. That likely includes public social media profiles on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and other social networks.
Don’t worry, that doesn’t mean you need to panic—it’s just another opportunity for you to control what they see, and their overall impression of you.
You can simply delete anything that you wouldn’t want a potential employer to see and leave up anything else. That said, getting rid of your social media accounts altogether might raise red flags for potential employers, so it’s best to find a happy medium.
Also, this might be a good opportunity to review all of your privacy settings, so only your friends can see your personal information.
Use technology to aid your job search
Visit your dream employers’ websites and find their career sections. Virtually all large employers give you an option to create job notifications where you get emailed if a new position is posted that matches your criteria.
When you are done with those companies, move on to major job boards and career websites and follow the same steps. This way, new job opportunities will come to you without you having to do any extra searching or legwork. Take advantage of automation to improve your job hunt.
Once you get those job searches set, head to job search-focused sites like WayUp and Planted. Unlike most job-hunting websites, these startups specialize in entry-level roles, which are perfect for your current situation.
Practice to nail the interview
Like most skills in life, you can improve your interview ability with practice. You can practice with your significant other, friends, parents, the mirror, or even your dog!
Getting in the groove of answering questions about yourself (or just talking about yourself) will help you immensely when those interviews come around.
When you do get an interview, search online for lists of common questions—or, if you can find them, questions that past interviewees for roles at the same company have been asked. Review these potential interview questions with your training partners, and remember—practice makes perfect!
Build and utilize your network
You probably hear the term “networking” a lot when discussing job hunting. While the term sounds intimidating, it is actually a simple concept. Meeting more people can help you connect to more companies and more job opportunities.
While that’s always helpful, it’s also important that you don’t forget about your existing network.
Family friends, old scout leaders, adults you knew from school or religious institutions, or anyone else who may want to see you succeed might be able to help in your search. You never know what connection may lead to a job!
Your career is in your hands
When looking for a job, it is important to remember that you’ve got a ton of resources at your fingertips. In the meantime, continually improve your skills so you are ready to show off what you’ve learned when the opportunity presents itself.
Continue connecting with the right people and organizations and keep your resume and handy everywhere you go. It’s important to be prepared if a great networking opportunity shows up!
If you do that and apply for new positions consistently, your next great job might be just around the corner.