Graduating college and finally reaching the end of your academic career is a monumental event that can leave you feeling proud and accomplished. However, after this euphoria has passed, you must settle down and focus on putting your degree to use. The unfortunate reality is that as beneficial as a college degree is in helping you advance in your career, there is a negative trend in getting a job after graduating from college.
While some markets are substantially more challenging to land a job in after college graduation than others, you can take numerous steps that could potentially bolster your chance of landing a first job. Remember that searching for a job is a full-time job itself. If you want to be successful in your effort, you need to focus diligently on it and apply the right strategies and techniques.
Self-Marketing Starts With the CV
Curriculum Vitae (CV) is essentially translated into a “course of (one’s) life.” Do not be fooled by this definition. You definitely need to use a CV to articulate your accomplishments to a potential employer and to specifically explain why you are a great candidate for the position, but your information needs to be customized and targeted. Understand what the company’s motto is and what is the corporate culture. Focus on what the company values and look for connections between your experiences and its culture or values.
You essentially want to craft a CV that beautifully illustrates all connections while also hyping up how valuable you would be as a new addition to the team. Remember to customize each CV. It can be detrimental to send a generic CV out with each resume.
Don’t Ignore Your Soft Skills
You may have minimal real-life work experience in your specific industry, but that does not mean that you do not have specific soft skills that companies may value. Soft skills are the hardest to learn. All of your non-industry job experiences, extracurricular activities and even personal experiences may have enabled the development of those skills.
Identify what you learned from each experience. Did being a Lacrosse Team president teach you leadership skills like motivation? Find a way to communicate these skills to a hiring manager through your resume in a unique way. Everything you’ve done during college can be beneficial, no matter if it is an internship, part time job or a on campus position.
Remember that many resumes use the same overused and worn out words. Be creative in your use of words as well as in how you explain soft skills through real-life examples.
Tidy Up Your Facebook Profile
It is increasingly common for employers to learn more about potential applicants through their Facebook profiles. Your Facebook profile essentially can be seen as an extension of your resume, and it gives hiring managers a more well-rounded view about who you are as a person. Many college graduates need to spend time sprucing up their Facebook profile so that it portrays an ideal candidate. Look at your profile honestly through the eyes of an employer to identify things that may need to be removed.
There are some specific areas of a profile that may be overlooked. For example, analyze the pages and groups that you follow. Eliminate questionable ones and consider adding a few that are related to your profession. Delete photos that are not desirable and think about posting a few that present you in a more professional or mature light. Even if you update your privacy settings, ensure that your profile and cover photo are suitable and even professional. Keep in mind that it is a small world, and there is a possibility that one of your friends could be your employer in the future. Cleaning up your profile today is a smart idea, but you also need to focus on making smart, mature posts in the future.
Make the Most of LinkedIn
Many college graduates do not yet have a LinkedIn profile, but 70 percent of employers use this platform to learn more about candidates. Some even use LinkedIn to find candidates who have not yet applied for a position. Remember that LinkedIn is an online extension of your resume. All information on your resume should match your online profile, including dates and details.
In order to craft a professional profession on LinkedIn:
- Add a professional header and headshot.
- Create a solid profile summary and an eye-catching headline.
- Use the profile to show off, but always remain professional.
- Review and customize your LinkedIn URL.
- Include all achievements, recognitions and awards.
After you have spent adequate time updating or creating your Facebook and LinkedIn profiles, take the additional step to Google yourself. Pay attention to photos or other items that may require updating before you draw attention to yourself through job applications and networking.
Once you believe that your online presence is professional and mature, use the Internet to network extensively. This includes joining LinkedIn groups, following companies on Facebook, connecting with professionals who you know and interacting with professionals in other ways. Remember that you can even post articles related to your field that could get the attention of hiring managers. Writing references for others is also another way to get more attention yourself.
A Final Word
As you can see, there is more to getting a first job after college graduation than simply emailing a few resumes to hiring managers. Be flexible about jobs that you consider. Look for any jobs that are in your field as they will at least serve as a foot-in-door experience, and this includes lower-paying jobs. Getting some experience in your field could be a stepping stone to an even better job down the road.
About the Author:
Michelle works from home and writes articles about various topics. She loves her keyboard on a rainy day, but she also loves being outdoors in her free time. She often daydreams of visiting new places and works on making those dreams come true. Her magic? Cycling in the woods.