Approximately 1.6 million college students graduated in 2014 and according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, the job market looks more promising than recent years. Employers expect to hire 7.8 percent more Class of 2014 graduates than they hired from the Class of 2013. Although it is improving, recent graduates are still facing a tough job market. Before you begin your job search, know these tips to help you land a job that you are not only qualified for, but also enjoy.
Don’t underestimate how long your job search may last. Landing a job in today’s market can take a long time, especially if you are a recent grad with little experience. Even the hiring process can sometimes take months. Instead of taking some time off after graduation, start your job search immediately.
Research jobs and companies in your field. As you begin your job search, do some research on the titles that people in your desired field hold. Get a feel for the types of jobs available to you based on your experience level and skillset. Once you’ve narrowed down sample job titles, create a list of target companies that you would like to work for. Research these companies and find out if they are hiring. LinkedIn is a great resource for finding companies you may be interested in.
Research yourself online. Today so much of our personal information is available to anyone who performs a quick online search and according to a recent survey, 89 percent of companies will use social networks as part of their hiring process. It’s important that you update your social media profiles to reflect professionalism (even your personal accounts like Facebook and Twitter). If you don’t already have a LinkedIn profile, set one up to highlight your accomplishments, skills, and what you are looking for in your next job. While you’re at it, don’t forget to update your email address and outgoing voicemail to reflect professionalism.
Don’t apply to every job; apply to the right jobs. It’s easy to get caught up and apply to every available job you see, especially with tools such as resume upload sites and LinkedIn at your fingertips. However, if you only apply to jobs that you are absolutely qualified for and are truly interested in, you will have a greater chance of finding a job that best suits your needs.
Perfect your resume(s). You should have one master resume (and cover letter) as a base to list all of your experiences, skills, and education. However each time you apply to a job, you should tailor your resume to that specific position. Drafting a new resume every time you apply for a job may sound intimidating, but if you consistently update a master resume document it will be as simple as copying and pasting.
Think of your resume as a marketing document for yourself and your skills. Make sure to include keywords or buzz words that employers in your fields may be scanning your resume for. For (free) help writing your resume, contact your college’s career services center and avoid pricey resume writing services.
Network as much as possible in person and online. If you are a recent grad, you may not have many professional connections yet. Your alma mater’s alumni association can be a great connection. Attend alumni events in your area to meet new people, build connections, and get advice. Also consider joining local professional associations.
Use sites like LinkedIn to build your connections online. You never know how you may be connected to a job or company. Also, considering joining sites like Monster.com and CareerBuilder.com to make yourself visible to potential employers and recruiters.
Get tips on how to save money on job search expenses.