When you are finishing college, you can network with other professionals and apply for entry-level jobs in your field that expand on your education, skills and any experience you gained through internships. In this article, you can learn the steps to take for getting your first job after college.
How to get a job after college
Finding your first job after college might be intimidating if you recently graduated. But be reassured, with some strategy and effort, you can launch your career with ease.
Here are 10 tips to help you increase your chance to get your first job:
1. First, talk to the people in your personal network
Start with the people you already know. Express your interests and listen as they tell you about their professional experience. For example, any conversation with fellow students or teachers could bring you to your next step. Make a list of your interests and what you are looking for in a job.
2. Second, create a LinkedIn profile to start a professional network
You can create a LinkedIn profile to start networking online. Even if it is a simple list of the high school you attended, your skills, your extra-curricular activities and a description of the career you look forward to. You can include summer jobs to show that you can handle responsibilities. The primary objective is to build your presence on LinkedIn and connect with as many people as possible. Keep in mind that every person you meet is a possible resource for your network, so keep in touch. If they remember you, they will think of you once a job opening pops up in their company.
3. Third, visit your university’s career center for guidance
Use the available resources from your college counselor or career center. They have experts who can help you write your cover letter, prepare your resume and practice the interview. They can provide a list of alumni working in different areas, and even some you can contact to learn about their professional experience. Take advantage of visits from individual recruiters at your college, visit career fairs on campus and other recruitment events. Participate in alumni networking programs if they are available.
You can also take a self-assessment test in your career center. The more you know yourself, the better you will target positions that suit you.
4. Fourth, start a blog or website
Start a blog about a subject of your interest. Professional topics are preferable, but if you don’t feel confident enough in the area, blog about your passion. You can also create a website with work samples. The idea is to develop an online display of your personality and knowledge.
5. Fifth, get an internship
Whether it is a paid internship or not, it a good investment for your future. It is an opportunity to discover the professional world, network and gain valuable experience. You will learn time management and communication skills. Pick your internship according to your interests in a field where you see yourself building a career. It will be an excellent way to test jobs and confirm what could suit you best. If possible, try to get an internship with a company that has brand recognition as it will stand out on your resume and open doors.
6. Sixth, find a mentor
If there is no potential mentor in your personal network, do your research on the internet. Search the name of the brand you admire and the field that interests you. Then you can send emails to all the names you find and ask for a meeting.
Reach out to alumni who work in the field of your interest and ask them if you could meet or organize a phone call so they can talk to you about their career.
If the idea of meeting people you don’t know makes you uncomfortable, be reassured. Most professionals are willing to help young students like you because they remember they were once in your position. Once you meet a person, keep in touch. If you make a good impression, they will most likely think of you once a job opens up in their company.
7. Seventh, update your resume by reviewing job postings
Adapt your resume to a job description, using the same keywords as in the job posting. Many employers use applicant tracking systems that scan the resume for keywords, so your application could be rejected if you didn’t include them.
Start your day by looking for new job postings to ensure you are one of the first applicants. Send between 20 and 30 applications per week. The more you apply, the higher the chance to get an answer.
8. Eighth, get ready for interviews
Even if you don’t have an appointment yet, you want to prepare for the interview. It will help you gain confidence and overcome the stress of that critical step towards your new career. Look up some of the most frequent interview questions and prepare your answers.
You should also do some research about the company you applied to and their business. The employers usually ask a few questions to verify your interest. The fact that you informed yourself before meeting them is a sign of motivation.
9. Ninth, pay attention to the details
Record a well-spoken and mature message on your voicemail, clearly stating your name. Review your wardrobe and pick the right outfit for your appointment. Update your social media accounts to make sure you don’t send the wrong message to employers.
10. Tenth, stay open to each opportunity in the process
Your first job doesn’t have to be your dream job. It is an opportunity to discover the professional work environment, gain skills, discover an industry and to network. Everything you will learn in this first experience will be an asset for the future of your career. Instead of freezing at the idea that you might make the wrong choice with your first job, take the first step. Focus on what it might bring you. The importance is to pick something that interests and challenges you, something that makes you more valuable. So, keep an open mind and avoid staying stuck with one industry or job position.