Finding a job after graduation can be very difficult. Finding a job that is a match for one’s talents, skills and interests is even more difficult.
Here are some basic rules or ideas to follow to achieve success. Can you describe your “dream” job? You may not be qualified for it – yet – or you may not be quite qualified enough, but this can be your goal – if not possible now, then sometime in the future.
- Don’t leave your job search to others. Sometimes we put our faith in a good friend or mentor to find us a job, or come up with some contacts. This is not a good idea. Take responsibility for your job search. Don’t wait to be “discovered” because you will likely be disappointed that no one is chasing after you.
- Have an excellent resume or curriculum vitae or explanation of your qualifications to give to prospective employers. It should be short – no more than 2 pages, and even 1 page can be very effective. It should not be a laundry list of everything you have done, but short explanations of your qualifications, your past experience, and what you are good at – your skills, or special knowledge. Stay away from statements such as “high energy”, “excellent people skills,” “hard-worker,” etc. While you may believe they are true, there is no way for a potential employer to validate them. Place statements in your documentation about things you have actually done or achieved.
- Make quality contacts – and they can be exploratory and not always directed at getting a job. From your contacts find out where jobs might be available now or even in the future. Approach prospective employers with some ideas for them about how you could be useful in their business.
- Make many contacts. You will be searching a long time a) if you get discouraged easily b) you don’t make enough contacts. Daily contacts, emails, texts to an ever-widening group of people followed by visits with those willing to meet and discuss.
- When you receive a good contact, or good information from a visit with someone, make a point of sending them a text or email to thank them for their help. This follow-up will remind your contact that you are still available and might also lead to further contacts.
- You will be better remembered if you engage contacts in conversation rather than just reciting your qualifications to them. Get them to talk or give advice or tell you about their experience. After all, they also want to get something from this discussion, and showing interest in them can go a long way.
- Don’t rush into a job. Make sure you understand the pay, what you will actually be doing and if you can, what the work environment is like – friendly? Tough? Etc.
If you treat searching for a job, as if it was a job itself, you are more likely to find success, and to get there more quickly.