Congratulations! You have achieved a major milestone and have a great career ahead. Statistics indicate that college graduates have unemployment rates well below the national average, and also earn nearly twice the annual salary as non-college grads.
While this is good news, getting a job in this economy can still be tricky. Here are 5 tips to consider as you navigate your job search:
1) Embrace the “try before you buy” mentality of employers.
When employers can afford to be choosy about who they hire for long-term employment, many companies offer contract positions, internships or even volunteer roles so they can see a candidate in action before making a permanent offer. These are great opportunities to network and show an employer what you’ve got, and many of these temporary roles turn into full-time employment.
Key point: Get your foot in the door.
2) Use your University career center or invest in a Career Coach.
When I was in college, I didn’t even know about the Career Center. Now, some Universities have 3 or 4 career centers focused on different majors and specialties. Don’t miss out on this valuable resource. Attend seminars, scope out internships, and sign-up for mock interviews. Having a degree is a good start, but there is a science to getting a job. No access to a Career Center? Hire a Career Coach. It will ultimately save you time and money.
Key point: The more you know, the further you get ahead.
3) Get out from behind the computer.
Networking is still the gold standard in finding employment. Research indicates that jobs found through networking correlate with higher satisfaction and longer tenure. Linked In and other social media can be useful, but networking face-to-face is still the best way to build relationships, which is what networking is truly about. Go to events, meet new people, ask questions and be curious.
Key point: Great advice and leads are all around if you make time to listen.
4) Clean up your social media.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest…the list goes on. Even if you use Linked In for your “professional” connections and reserve other sites for “personal” connections, data is fair game once posted on the web, and your security settings may do little to protect you. Remove any questionable content from social media sites and Google yourself to see what comes up. While you may not be able to remove some things from cyber world, it’s best to be prepared with an explanation if something awkward from your past comes up in an interview.
Key point: What happens on the Internet stays on the Internet.
5) Don’t get discouraged.
Your industry may be more competitive or may pay less. It can be feel disheartening if friends are landing jobs and you are still looking. Every industry is different, so be careful about comparing. It typically leads to discouragement and desperation, which you don’t want to come through when you’re interviewing. Continue to engage your resources. Great things can take time. And be happy for your friends – they are now in a position to help you grow your network. Lastly, consider a Career Coach. Having someone on your side will help you sustain the motivation needed to achieve your goal.
Key point: It is about finding the best fit for YOU, not your friends.