When you graduate college everyone expects you to have a job lined up and be ready to get your “adult job” or even better yet your “big girl” or “big boy” job. Way to make us sound like we are just kids messing around throughout our entire years in college and that our serving jobs weren’t really “adult jobs.”
Regardless, now that I am at the "adult job" search age after graduating college and holding some extra experience to make me a more competitive candidate in the “adult world” I have to come to realize some pretty harsh truths about the whole process. It is not only difficult, discouraging, and rigorous, but it is also damn time-consuming.
Spending hours upon hours job searching each day becomes quite disheartening. Especially when the only experience that seems to matter is your college degree and that is not the real kind of experience that most jobs are searching for.
However, I can try to make it easier for you from the many certainties I have learned from myself and others along the way. I still am in the same boat of searching for jobs, but I have gone through some interview processes so far, long days editing my resume and different cover letters, and have gained some expertise knowledge from family and friends who have also been there, done that (these friends and family have awesome jobs too, by the way).
Now here’s a list of five insanely accurate truths that you should always do when competing in today’s job world.
1. Edit your resume and cover letter for EVERY SINGLE JOB
Seriously do this. Like seriously do this EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. Especially if you are serious about a job. It will make you so much more competitive. Be thorough in reading what precisely the job description is looking for in its perfect candidate and then use those words and descriptors to describe yourself and your strengths. They are looking for the keywords that they use in their job description to reflect this in their perfect employee!
You can even have a generic resume and cover letter, no problem, but just make sure to customize it for every job enough that it looks like that you created your resume and cover letter specifically for them.
2. Create a LinkedIn account and highly detail your profile
So many jobs and employers are listed on Linkedin nowadays. This is the prime place for anyone to search for people and jobs. It is the Facebook for the professional world.
Also, it seems good to mention that you should clean up your other forms of social media like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. You do not want to have a bunch of party pictures or racist Facebook posts on your pages. Businesses or organizations that are looking to hire you will actually look at your social media to see if you would be a good face for their company.
3. Create different profiles on all the job search sites and have them send you email updates
This one has specifically worked great for me. Indeed, Monster, ZipRecruiter, USAjobs are all great resources as job search engines. You can narrow your job search criteria on any of these search engines.
Also, make sure to check your university's job search opportunities (like for mine at Boise State it is BroncoJobs) and also company websites and government agencies post locally on their own sites.
Signing up for emails from Linkedin and Indeed has also been so helpful for me. They will send emails like “top job picks for you” and “new jobs available in your area,” etc. It is nice to be able to open your email each day (or week, whatever) and have these suggestions for you to go off of.
4. NETWORK, NETWORK, NETWORK
They say this can be the best way to acquire jobs these days. And now after months and months of time-consuming and weary job searches, I have come to realize that all the connections you have made or that family and friends have you should utilize! Connections are everything these days, so network on sites like Linkedin with old professors, family members, friends, and people suggested to you. Utilize the networking sites and the connections you have or could have.
5. Study immensely for your interview
Now that you have made it this far (hopefully for every job you apply to!) make sure to use all the interview tips and tidbits on the internet as your resource. Check YouTube and just google search how to ace an interview.
You can also google job-specific interview tips and this can help. For example, if you are applying to be a Flight Attendant then you can look on Glassdoor and people have given you the questions that they will ask in your interview so you are prepared to answer all the questions thoroughly and without hesitation. You can try to do this with any interview — just PRACTICE!
Lastly, use your friends and family as resources — have them look over your resume and cover letter, use their connections, practice your interview with them!
Hopefully, all of these tips and suggestions help you through your rigorous job search, but practice makes perfect. So don't let your first interview gone wrong discourage you or the multitude of missed connections or non-responses from jobs keep you from staying motivated to land your dream job!