The transition from college to the “real world” can be one of the most stressful times in a person’s life. With so many changes going on, most people are unsure of which step to take first. As obvious as it may seem, the first step any recent college graduate should take is to start the job search process! Do not put off the job search process because of a fear of failing. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, the 2011 Job Outlook Survey shows employers plan on hiring 19.3 percent more graduates this spring than one year ago. Follow these tips to get your job search started off on the right foot.
Tip #1 – Take advantage of your alumni network! Alumni Associations are a great way to build connections, and can also be very helpful because they were once in the same position. Connect with as many alum as you can to get your name and career goals out there. Social media sites, such as LinkedIn, will make building these connections quick and easy.
Tip #2 – Utilize social media! As stated before, social media sites are helpful in building connections, but they are also helpful in the job search process. Create a professional Twitter and LinkedIn account, and get the word out there that you are looking for a job. Also, make sure to clean up your online presence. Delete inappropriate pictures and comments from Facebook, because some employers do look at personal pages. Don’t forget to take a second to “Google” yourself to make sure there are no surprises on the internet (such as inappropriate pictures from 4 years ago that you forgot about).
Tip #3 – Consider an internship or dedicate some time to volunteering if you are unsure of what you want to do. Internships and volunteer experience look great on resumes, and can provide a sense of direction for possible career options. If you are lucky, an internship or a volunteer experience may even help you secure a full-time position!
Tip #4 – Stay positive! Continuously remind yourself about your skills and talents so you feel confident putting yourself out there. Searching for a job can be time-consuming and discouraging at times, but do not give up. It is necessary to invest time and energy into resume writing, job applications, and brushing up on interview skills. Just remember that it will all be worth it in the end.