Congratulations!! You are a 2013 college graduate…you finally made it to the end of your academic career, you have your diploma in hand and a degree in marketing from a top school – the world is your oyster and now all you need is a job.
At this point you have probably taken a month off to bask in your recent accomplishment and are finally ready to hit the pavement and begin looking for your first full time job and become part of the “real world.” At this point you think this is going to be easy because you have taken care of everything – your resume is updated, you know your dream job is to be a marketing executive in a name brand company, you’ve done countless activities in college, interned for two summers, followed all the guidelines of your college career center, but you find yourself sitting at a computer searching the job boards with no clue how to actually FIND your dream job. Welcome back to kindergarten – this time of the job world…
The good news is that there are jobs out there for recent graduates. In this current economic climate we are finding that companies are trending with hiring entry level employees with college degrees to be taught from the ground up, learn the company inside and out and develop great working habits as seen by this company. The hope is that this will result in a longer tenure and loyalty of employees as these entry level employees grow into higher level positions within the organization. The bad news is that you may really not know where to start.
These job hunting tips for recent college graduates should help get the ball rolling:
- RESUME!!!! – Your resume is your first impression to employers – make sure it is one page, that your education is on top, avoid general and trite objectives, that it is formatted consistently, that there are no typos, highlight all your computer and other skills in a skills section and MOST OF ALL – make sure that it is targeting the jobs you are looking for.
- REQUIREMENTS – Companies list job requirements and are looking to hire someone who meets almost all of them. If you are applying to jobs and not getting responses it is probably because you are not meeting their requirements…when you are the right fit for the opportunity you will hear back – QUICKLY
- JOB BOARDS – You will get out of job boards what you put into them. If you post your resume and think you’ve done it all – the majority of responses you will get will be from staffing agencies. Trust me — staffing agencies can help, but you need to put forth your own efforts as well. Search jobs that are posted and apply to ones that a) you meet the requirements for and b) your resume represents you for properly.
- YOUR NETWORK – Everything that you have done in your life up to this point is what will start your personal network. Friends, classmates, past bosses, family members, past colleagues, members of organizations that you are a part of, alumni from your high school or college, etc. are the people you should start reaching out to for help. You should already have great relationships with the members of your network so see who they know…and how they can help score you an interview.
- LINKED IN – If you do not already have one – create a linked in profile and start to build your network of contacts. This is an easy way to professionally connect with all the people in your network and the people they know also. ***Linked In also has job postings and companies are trending to post and hire from here more and more.
- TARGET COMPANIES – Make a list of companies that you would like to work for within the industry you are interested in working in. Visit the company websites, understand what they do and who their competitors are, see if they have internal postings, before you apply to postings see if anyone in your network works here and can give you insight into how to get your resume in front of the right person. If you don’t know anyone apply through the website…and if you get an interview or end up speaking to someone about the company they will be impressed that you are knowledgeable on the company.
- RECRUITERS AND TEMP WORK – recent grads can gain some great experience through staffing agencies. Agencies like Atrium share our network of clients with candidates and can help get your foot in the door to companies that you may not be able to get in yourselves. Additionally, temporary work is a great way to try out different positions, make money, sharpen your skills, gain experience and can almost be thought of as paid internships that in some cases can lead to full time employment.
- BE OPEN MINDED – You are just starting out your career – odds are that the marketing executive position that you want is something that you have to build your experience to get to and there are many paths that lead there…gaining experience is the most important thing. Try not to say no to even short term jobs, i.e. temporary work, you never know who you will meet along the way and who will be able help you out later in your career.