Are you a college student and new to the job hunt? Have you been applying for jobs and aren’t getting the response you thought you would? Are you simply looking to polish your professional profile? If any of these apply, then here are some tips for you!
1. Use your school’s career office. This is one of the most important steps you can take to help your career. It’s never too early or late to go in and speak with a career advisor. Career centers will offer a variety of services for students, such as resume and cover letter editing, mock interviews, networking tips, and interview coaching.
2. Network, network, network. Building a list of connections is often vital when searching for a job. Don’t be afraid to reach out to people you know. Friends, family, and former teachers might have the information you need to help you move in the right direction. If you have a professor at your school that you feel comfortable speaking with, they might have information for you as well.
3. Clean up your forms of contact. It’s a good idea to double check privacy settings of your commonly used social media accounts, such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Make sure that the profile picture that you’re using is appropriate. Have you created an email strictly for professional use? It might not be a bad idea to do so. Using your school email is often fine, but remember that you might not have access to it once you graduate. Another commonly missed form of contact is your voicemail greeting. Keep it simple and to the point, such as simply stating your name, and that you will get back to whoever is calling as soon as possible.
4. Be patient. More often than not, the very first job application you send out will not lead to your employment. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t immediately get a response you were looking for. Keep looking and applying for jobs, even if you’ve already applied for a job that you’re positive you’ll get. If you apply for a job that you think you have a good shot at getting, follow up after sending your resume if they do not expressly state no phone calls or emails, but do not call or email multiple times if you don’t hear anything immediately.
5. Use professional networking websites. Many students don’t utilize websites such as LinkedIn, but they can be valuable in building your network. Other social media sites, such as Twitter and Facebook can be useful as well, but again, make sure your profile looks professional.
6. Know what you’re looking for. What type of work are you looking for? Part-time? An internship? Summer work? Are you a senior who’s getting ready to start a long-term career? Do you need or have experience and training in the field you’re looking in? Having all of this information ready can help a great deal, especially when you are going to speak to your school’s career office. The more you prepare and know about what you’re looking for, the easier it will be for somebody to help you.
7. Practice interview questions. There are many common questions that interviewers ask, and if you have already practiced answers for them, it will show that you have come prepared for the interview. This also helps your interview run smoothly, and you won’t spend time grasping for an answer. Outside from your career office, you can use a friend or family to help you run through questions.
8. Research potential employers. Before you apply for a job, it’s a good idea to look into a company before you send out an application. This will give you an idea if you think you’d be a good fit with the company, as well as giving you more information that what’s available from a brief job description. If you then get an interview for a job, that gives you a chance to ask specific questions about the company that you may have. This will look good to the employer, as it show’s that you’re serious and interested. There’s also strong chance that any interviewer will ask you questions about their company, such as “Why are you interested in working here?” If you’ve already done the preparation beforehand, it will show that you have come prepared.
9. Say thank you. After an interview, make sure to thank the person (or people) who have interviewed you, not only before you leave, but by a form of communication as well. Sending a brief email of thank you note two or three days after your interview is a nice touch.
10. Proofread. Before you apply to each new job, make sure you proofread everything. Always double-check that your resume and cover letter mention the correct job. Double check for any spelling and grammatical errors in any form of communication you’re going to send out. If you have recently moved or gotten a new phone number, make sure that you are putting your new contact info on your application materials. It would be a shame to miss out on an opportunity because of one of these small errors.