It's officially the beginning of the second semester of your college year! For some of you, this will be your last semester.
Graduation is coming up in May, which is both exciting and terrifying. I remember panicking over what would happen after graduation!
However, my panic didn't last long. I finally had my degree, and all my hard work was finally coming to an end!
However, it didn't "pay off" immediately as I didn't have a job lined up. I had to go through the rigorous job search just like every other entry-level graduate.
I made some mistakes while trying to get my foot in the door, but I eventually got my dream job!
I took advice from others regarding my resume and interview etiquette, and now I'd like to return the favor!
Here are some helpful tips and tricks on how to land your first job!
1. Keep your resume short and simple
As a recruiter, I'll be the first to tell you that no one wants to read through a 6-page description of your work history. A good resume is a page and a half to two pages long. Employers want to be able to take a quick look through your resume to determine whether or not to call you.
2. Emphasize other parts of your resume other than just your work history
This is especially true for entry-level candidates. Your degree is your ticket at the beginning. You also want to include your work history from college (and maybe even high school) as well as your extracurriculars. Employers want to see that you're well-rounded and involved. For example, my experience as the Social Outreach Manager for my college's Odyssey team was the main thing that got me my current job. Sometimes, something you think isn't important might stand out to employers. Use it to your advantage.
3. Create accounts on multiple job boards
The best ones to use are LinkedIn, Indeed, ZipRecruiter and CareerBuilder. Apply to job postings you see on these sites that you think you'd be a good fit for, and build your profile with your resume, (professional) picture and contact information. Even if you didn't apply to a specific company, you might receive calls from recruiters that viewed your resume while doing a direct search. You'll want to be ready.
4. Advertise on your social media accounts
You never know where a new opportunity will come your way! For example, I got my current job after posting on Facebook that I was job hunting. In my post, I included my college major and minor, work history, internship, skill set and interests. A friend from middle school saw my post and informed me that she knew someone that needed a role filled. She sent over my resume, I went in for the interview, and I got the job in July! Shoutout to Angie for helping me land the job!
5. Clean up your social media accounts
Some employers will look through your social media to determine your eligibilty. Personally I don't agree with it, but that's just how it is. Even if your resume was perfect and you nailed the interview, if they find pictures of you from that one frat party twerking on the table with a bottle in your hand, they may think twice about hiring you. I've had to do a good amount of "spring cleaning" myself, but it was worth it. Make sure to present yourself in the best way possible.
6. Have someone look over your resume
I started my job search well before graduation in May. Even though I didn't get my current job until July, you might get an offer before graduation. I went to my college's Career Counselor to get my resume reviewed, and he helped me out tremendously. Having someone look over your resume helps you identify typos and figure out what to emphasize and/or remove. He helped me get my resume down to a page and a half, which is the ideal length.
7. Use verbs in your employment history
Employers like resumes with action words, such as "managed, cleaned, organized, researched," etc. It keeps your resume short and to the point, and action words are easier to identify.
8. Keep your schedule open for interviews
Whether you're working an interim job or not working at all, be flexible with your schedule. An employer will typically give you 2 days/times to choose from when inviting you in for an interview as they have other tasks they need to handle. If you have something scheduled during that time, see if you can move it around. Your main focus is finding a full-time "big" job.
9. Review/complete any paperwork prior to the interview
Typically, you'll receive a confirmation email that includes your interview details. If they send you an online application, do it before your interview day. Look over the list of things they tell you to bring to the interview and make sure you have them.
10. Arrive at least 10 minutes early
As my high school choir teacher always said, "Early is on-time and on-time is late." Make sure to arrive 10-15 minutes early as it looks good to employers. This may mean leaving the house super early. For example, I left my house and hour and a half before my interview and got there an hour early, so I chilled in the lobby downstairs until it was time to go in. Better safe than sorry!
11. Ask the employer job-related questions
This shows that you're interested in the job and you've done your research on it. For example, when I went in for the interview for my job as a recruiter, I had a list of questions ready to go. I asked my supervisor about choosing the best people to call, what to look for in a resume, how to conduct interviews, etc. I even asked him about his favorite memories with the company. Don't be afraid to ask multiple questions; the more you ask, the more you care.
12. Follow up with a thank-you email.
The day after your interview, send an email to the employer who conducted your interview to thank them for their time. Include your contact information including the best number and email to reach you by in case they call you back. It shows that you're grateful and respectful-two very important character qualities to have in the work world.
The work world can be terrifying at first, but once you land that first job, life changes in so many beautiful ways!
Good luck with your job hunt; you're gonna land that job in no time! I believe in you!