You might be used to sitting at home and relaxing for the summer, but when it comes to job searching, now is not the time to take it easy. The job market is tough out there right now, and that makes finding that perfect job even more difficult than usual. If you’re a recent graduate like we are, however, things may seem even tougher than they usually do. Why? Well, because as a recent grad you have a lot less experience under your belt than other new grads. Don’t let this discourage you! Even if you’ve got little work experience, there are still plenty of ways you can help yourself stand out in the eyes of hiring managers. Here’s everything you need to know about job search as a recent graduate—and how to get back on your feet quickly once you land your first role.
Know the Job Search Basics
First, you’ve got to know what you don’t know. That’s right—if you’re a recent grad, you may have fewer years of experience than your older peers, but you’ve still got plenty of knowledge to contribute. In fact, if you spend a little time learning about some of the basics, you’ll find it makes a big difference in your job search. Here are a few you need to keep in mind as you look for your next job.
Research Companies You’re Interested In: When you’re looking for your first job, one of the first things you should do is start researching companies you’re interested in. Even if you’re not interested in working for any of these companies specifically, the fact that you’ve researched them can help you stand out from the crowd. When employers see that you’ve done some preliminary research into the company and industry you’re interested in, they’ll have a better sense of what you’re capable of. Start with a strong resume: Once you’ve started researching companies, it’s time to start repping yourself. That means reworking your resume to make it as strong as possible. You’re likely not going to create the PERFECT resume on your first try, but you can make a start. A strong resume is more than just a list of work experience and skills—it’s also a sales pitch. Think of your resume as a sales pitch for yourself—you want it to show how you met the needs of employers in the past, what skills you have that make you ideal for the job, and how you can help an employer meet their needs better in the future.
Stay Active In The Job Hunt: If you want to stand out from the crowd, you’ve got to put yourself out there. And that means actively looking for jobs, even if you don’t get any interviews. This is a crucial step in the job search, and one that many recent grads overlook. Stay active, and you’ll get more leads as well as have a better chance of landing interviews. Network is Vital: Networking is one of the best things you can do as a job seeker. You may have gotten into the habit of staying in your comfort zone during college, but that’s not what employers are looking for anymore. Employers want to see that you’re confident enough to get out there and make contact with people, even if you’re not sure how to start the conversation. Take some time to get to know your professors and other alumni—they may know people who are hiring. You can also join career services and student organizations to meet people who are already in your industry.
Research Companies You’re Interested In
When you’re looking into companies, you want to be as thorough as possible. That means doing your research, and that means learning everything you can about the companies you’re interested in. Let’s start with the obvious—where do they work? Look up the company on Google, read as many articles about them as you can, and try to learn everything you can about the company and industry you’re interested in. Why do you want to work for this company? What does it do? What does the company’s leadership team look like? What are the company’s values? These are the types of questions you want to keep in mind when researching a company.
Start with a strong resume
When you’re reworking your resume to make it as strong as possible, keep in mind that you want to make sure it’s a well-rounded resume. That means it’s got a representative sample of your skills and experience—you don’t want to try to stuff too much information on a single resume. Your goal should be to create a resume that highlights your experience in a variety of ways. If you have any experience doing research, you may find it helpful to create a research-focused resume. You can do this by creating a separate resume for each job you’ve had and placing your research experience at the bottom of each resume. This will let hiring managers know that you can help them by making them more informed, and it will help you stand out.
Stay Active In The Job Hunt
You may have gotten into the habit of staying in your comfort zone during college, but that’s not what employers are looking for anymore. Employers want to see that you’re confident enough to get out there and make contact with people, even if you’re not sure how to start the conversation. Take some time to get to know your professors and other alumni—they may know people who are hiring. You can also join career services and student organizations to meet people who are already in your industry. There are also plenty of online resources you can use to help you find jobs and recruiters you can contact. There are plenty of sources that will give you a list of jobs that are hiring, or help you create your own hiring list of companies that are hiring.
Networking is Vital
Networking is vital, but there’s more to it than just sitting down with your classmates and asking to be their friend. Employers want to see that you can actively network with other people in your industry, as well as recruiters, hiring managers, and anyone else you may want to meet. It’s not enough to just be around people and make connections—you need to actively work towards these connections. Networking is a great way to meet potential employers and other people in your field. It’s a great way to make connections that will help you in the long run, even if you don’t end up getting a job right away. You can also use networking events to meet people and get your foot in the door with your next job if you have to wait tables while you look for something better.
Negotiate Your Salary And Benefits
When you’re negotiating your salary and benefits, one of your biggest concerns is going to be what other new grads are asking for. You want to make sure you’re not coming off as too demanding. You may be intimidated by some of the larger companies, but you don’t want to let that stop you from negotiating a salary that’s too low. Remember that every company has its own culture, and some companies are much more open to negotiation than others. If you’re meeting with a new company for the first time, don’t be afraid to ask about salary negotiation policy. If you find out that the company is open to negotiation, you want to make sure you’re not coming across as too demanding. Instead, you want to make it clear that you’re comfortable with negotiation and are just looking for fair compensation for your work.
Job Search For Recent Graduate is hard, but with these tips, you can make it a little bit easier. Just remember, it’s not about finding the perfect job. It’s about finding a job that fits your needs, gives you a good salary, and has enough room for you to grow.