While competition is tight for jobs, especially for new grads, there are some things you can do to increase the odds you’ll land a great job right out of college. Here are 10 top tips for new grads.
Apply for the Right Jobs
This entails studying job descriptions that are a great fit for you and the skills and knowledge you possess. Go through and highlight the qualifications that they want. If most of it is highlighted – then you should apply for this position. Don’t waste your time applying for jobs that are not a good fit for you and your skill set.
Do company research
For example, LinkedIn has a skills section that lists organizations looking for the specific skills you possess.
Use the web and social media
An online poll showed that 90% of employers are going to use social media in their hiring process this year. That means it is critical that you use Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to develop a professional presence online. You don’t want to convey an image of an immature college graduate. It also means you have to update your profile frequently with posts related to your career or field of choice.
Network in real life
Nothing will ever replace networking in person. New college grads should join professional organizations and attend events where decision makers are going to be. It’s a numbers game – the more people you meet and impress – the more likely they will refer a job opportunity your way.
Have an elevator pitch
You need to convey in 30 seconds your accomplishments, what you do, and how you can help an organization. Narrow down your talking points into half a minute and practice, practice, practice.
Act like a professional
Act like a professional wherever you are. You never know when you’re going to meet a hiring manager or someone with influence and power. Think about someone you would want to hire if you were a manager and act and dress like that person. Doesn’t mean you have to be boring, but you should be polished and professional.
Follow up with contact, ask questions, and be a great listener
During your networking meetings always make it a point to ask about people’s hobbies and families. Then pay attention to what they say. For example, if someone says they love tennis, follow up with them and attach an article about tennis techniques or fun places to play. This will make you stand out big time.