For the past four years as students you have had a professor telling you what to do, how to do it and when to do it. The constant reminders in class and the tentative schedule provided in the syllabus kept you on track for success, but not all things in life come with a tentative schedule and weekly reminders. Unfortunately, no one is going to tell you when or how to apply for your first job after graduation. It’s up to you to set your own goals and make a plan for success. To ease your fears, Fox Business has a few “Job-Hunting Tips for College Seniors” that may help you get a jump-start on you plans.
Look early and often: Starting the job search early and applying early may give you an advantage because you won’t be competing with all the other graduates who wait until after they graduate to being applying. Caroline Paxman, president of the Americas for SHL recommends students start their job hunt as a junior.
Applying for a job: Don’t just make a one-size-fits-all –resume. It is important to understand the job and its requirements then highlight your specific qualities and experiences accordingly. Also, don’t let the convenience of the Internet and online applications limit your chances of getting hired. Apply in person. Most people can’t put into words what a good first impression would, so if you have the opportunity to get some face-time, do it.
Your dream job may not be in the picture, yet: With the high unemployment rate, it’s not only more difficult to find a job but also the job you’ve been dreaming of and preparing for. As a recent college graduate, you may have to settle for a job that isn’t on your top-10 list, but you may end up loving it. Broadening your options may be the deciding factor in whether you can start paying off your student loans or not.
Money vs. happiness: You must consider both when deciding if the job offered is right for you. Don’t be afraid to accept a lower- paying job if it will make you happy because choosing a job based on salary alone may send you back to searching for a job when you realize the money isn’t worth the stress and agony.
Rejection is a part of life: Don’t get discouraged if you don’t get the job you thought was the perfect fit. Don’t take it personally. It’s a part of the process. Look at it as a learning experience, and figure out how to make a company think it needs you.
So, if you’re a college senior and you haven’t started looking for a job, it’s time. Remember, you’re competing with tens of thousands of other college graduates. It is important to know how to appeal to a company in ways that others cannot. Find your niche, and start the journey. Good luck.