Job Hunting Tips for College Students
What’s more daunting: Finishing college on time or the thought of finding a job after graduation?
While we may not be able to help you finish school in four years, we can definitely help with your post-grad job search. Check out these tips on how to find a great career after college!
Don’t wait until your senior year to start taking your future career seriously. If possible, start during or after your freshman year! Find summer internships, shadow professionals—do whatever you can to get a head start in your desired field as early as possible. Doing this will allow you to feel out the career path so you can make sure that it’s something you really want to do. Also, when you start searching for jobs after gradutation, you’ll be so glad you got your foot in the door early.
Invest your time AND money
No one ever said this would be fun, but it’s worth it. Spend your personal time honing your skills and mind for your craft. There’s always room for improvement. Not everyone will have to invest their money in their profession, but if you are someone pursuing a career in a creative field, this could be an integral part of your success. Photographers buy their cameras; artists buy their supplies; entrepreneurs spend money on their brand and business. What you do now will jumpstart your success when you finally get that degree.
Do freelance work
Again, this is mostly for people in more creative fields. If you want to be a journalist, find an outlet to write for—even if it’s unpaid. You have to start somewhere! If anything, start your own blog and cover the stories you care about. If you are a photographer, start taking senior pictures and do small sessions for friends to build your portfolio. Whatever you can do to get more experience and have tangible work for future clients—do it. It’ll pay off later on when you start to get real business and can show people work that you have already done.
Customize your resume and cover letter for every interview
This sounds like a lot of work because it can be, but customizing your resume and cover letter makes a huge difference when you go job hunting. If you are applying for a job with a marketing company and another with a software company, you’re going to want to focus more on any experience or skills you have relating to each field, rather than turning in a generic resume describing how you worked at a local diner for three years. Put the diner in your work experience, but it shouldn’t be in the center ring of your resume.
Be persistent in your job hunting
First, continuously check job postings for updates. Employers are adding positions every day, so don’t miss out because you were discouraged after one week of fruitless searching. Second, stay informed on your desired field. Being knowledgeable about the field can help you predict where openings may pop up or where there is a need to be met. Also, it will only help you in an interview if you actually know what you are talking about. Lastly, utilize your resources. Connections are key. If you can get your foot in the door through your alumni network, family, friends, school, etc., take advantage of it.
Prepare for your interview
Don’t go into an interview without any kind of preparation. Know how to answer basic questions about yourself and the company, such as:
Why do you want to work for our company?
What is your greatest strength and weakness?
Why should we hire you?
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Don’t just wing it. Read up on the company. Prepare answers to commonly asked questions. If you’re not sure what kind of questions to prepare answers for, do a little research. Overall, mentally prepare for your interview so that you can go in with confidence.
Job hunting can be extremely frustrating, especially when you are young, but we’re here to make it easier. Don’t know where to start? Create your free account, post your resume, and search for local jobs today!
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