Written by Chris Pouncil
As a recent December graduate, I have learned several important lessons about the job search process and the difficulties that accompany it. Currently, in the middle of my quest to get hired, there are three main things that I wish I had known before I began. In this post, my goal is to provide future seniors with some advice to help them avoid making the same mistakes I did.
Pick your job wisely
The pressure of getting a job immediately after graduating is immense and can lead you to just apply for any job that’s out there. You might even begin to rush so much that you go to LinkedIn and apply for almost all the jobs that say “Easy Apply.” Your teachers and parents will likely tell you this but I also want to emphasize that it is okay to not have a job right out of college! The safer bet would be to wait and find a job you believe you will truly enjoy instead of settling for a job just because it is there. Rushing to get a job leads to rushing through the application process, which is what I want to elaborate on next.
Spend time on your resume and cover letter
Writing a cover letter can be the most grueling thing about applying for a job. Yes, you do have to write or edit a cover letter for every job you apply for and yes it is something that you have to spend a good amount of time doing. However, there is great reward in doing so. Your resume and cover letter are the first major steps to impressing future employers. Your resume provides you an opportunity to list your accomplishments, past work experiences, academic history, and any skills you may possess. It also allows you to showcase your ability to use proper grammar and punctuation. For a great majority of employers, the first thing they look for on a resume is grammatical errors. Depending on the amount of competition for a particular position, one single error could lead your resume to be thrown in the discard pile. Your cover letter, on the other hand, is your appraisal. It’s your opportunity to tell an employer why you are the perfect fit for the position; a cover letter is all about telling the employer how you can help them. If you speed through it without taking the time to make sure it is as good as can be, chances are, it will likely ruin your opportunity.
This is arguably the most important tip I can give you. Making connections is something that can make or break your job search process. Professional connections aren’t just mentors that can teach you about their career. They are also your biggest pathway to landing some jobs. They can serve as recommendations, tell you about open positions, and sometimes even offer you a job if they feel like you are a good fit for an open position. Start making connections early in college and it will benefit you in the long run––trust me.
Job searching is a scary and stressful process but if you take the right steps, it doesn’t have to be that way. Searching for a job is meant to be fun and eye-opening. This is one of the biggest moments of your life and when it is all over, you will hopefully hold a position at a company that you love and enjoy working for every day. These tips can not only help you find a job but find a job that you enjoy and excel in. Thanks for reading!
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