How to Land Your First Job Out of College

2018-07-05 by Steve

Clean up your online presence

This may seem simple, but can be very useful in presenting a professional appearance. You may consider getting a new, more professional sounding email address that isn’t your university email or the one you created when you first joined the internet when you were 13. Also examine your social media and heighten your privacy settings. It’s also extremely useful to create a LinkedIn account and beef it up with all of your skills, past jobs, and accomplishments to date. Any little detail that can add to your employ-ability could be the key.

Perfect your resume and cover letter

You want to have a very succinct and well written resume. This is what is going to get you in the door, so you want to make sure that if effectively communicates your accomplishments to date, and lets your potential employer get a sense of who you are. It is also a good idea to focus on active, results oriented language. Don’t just include the clubs you were involved in, but describe what you contributed to the club during your time and how you left it better than you found it. It is also important to customize your resume and cover letter to each job you apply to. Make sure the language reflects the skills they want to see. The cover letter is also a good chance to explain any anomalies in your resume. For example, if you took 5 years to complete school, go into that journey and how it makes you a better candidate.

Start networking

Everyone likes to talk about how important it is to know people, and this can be very true. This doesn’t necessarily mean that someone is just going to hand you a job, but going to networking events, keeping in touch with influential professors or other adults in your life can be helpful in more ways than one. These people can often see skills in you that you don’t see in yourself and may introduce you to areas of work that you never even considered. They can also be useful if you need to provide references for any potential job. It’s key to utilize your community and attend events to continuously expand your network.

Craft an elevator pitch

Take stock of your skills, abilities, and interests, and be able to summarize those in just a few minutes. This will be very key at those networking events so that people get a sense of who you are and what your goals are, and also for job interviews. Potential employers want to see that you have a good grasp of your capabilities, and know how to leverage your skills to help the company grow and expand. It can also be a useful way to leave an impression.

Apply for companies you believe in

Don’t think that just because your new to the workforce you have to take anything that comes along. It will better in the long term if you start working in the industry and role that you can really believe in. Sometimes it’s better to start by researching companies, and checking their openings than simply seeing what jobs are out there and applying to everything you come across. It will also be apparent in your application if you feel passionately about the job that you’re applying for versus just trying to get any job to fill your time.

Graduating college is a scary time, but also one that is full of possibilities. With a little hard work and determination, you will soon land your first job, and your future can really begin.


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