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FYI Solutions Blog

Dec 18, 2012

10 tips for Recent Graduates in the Job Market

Author:  Brian Birkbeck

As a recent college graduate, I know how hard it is to figure out where to go after receiving your diploma. What to do after college life is still a question left unanswered for many. After reading an article from Forbes magazine written by Dan Schawbel  about “6 Tips to Help New Grads Land Job Offers”, I came up with a few I have learned myself.

While the economy is looking much brighter for college graduates than it has the past couple of years, the key to landing a job is to distinguish yourself from all the other college graduates. Here are 10 tips to help college graduates score entry-level jobs in their desired fields.

1. Clean up your online image

As much as you think those pictures from Friday night were harmless, employers do their research before investing in you.  Make sure there’s nothing out there that you wouldn’t want an employer to see. Change your accounts to be employer-friendly to ensure that you are only viewed as a professional.

2. Get your resume out there ASAP

Many employers start looking for candidates months before graduation so they are able to fill open positions by May or June. When creating your resume, try to correlate every job, internship or school project to your desired position. If you held a job as a waiter in college but are applying for a recruiting position, add any skills you picked up along the way that would make you a good candidate for that recruiter job, such as responsibilities that are customer service-focused.  Get ahead of the flood of spring resumes by applying early and often.

3. Network – in person and online

Every opportunity is an opportunity to network.  Speak with professors, stay in touch with the career development personnel, and create a LinkedIn profile. Nothing bad can come from meeting new people and expanding your network.  The more people you are connected with offline or online, the more chances you will have of hearing of an employment opportunity.

4. Target your job search

While not every opportunity is going to be your dream job, you can target what you want if you find job postings in a niche job board or LinkedIn group. For example, if you are looking for business analytics jobs, find a place where these types of jobs are specifically posted. Niche job boards offer more targeted job search results and a greater variety of relevant job opportunities.

5. Utilize your school’s career services

Make use of the career services at your college by making an appointment to have your resume reviewed or a mock interview conducted. The services at your school have a large network of alumni and sponsors that can assist you.

6. Prepare for interviews

If you’ve received a call back after applying for a job, you need to be prepared. To stand out from the other interviewees, research the company beforehand, learn about their industry and the company’s competitors, and have questions to ask about the position or company — not about salary or the number of paid days off.  It’s always a good idea to end by asking the interviewer if they think you are a good fit for the position.  This will allow you to clarify any miscommunications if there is a certain aspect they are looking for that is not listed in your resume and was not mentioned during the interview.

7. Get experience

If you have some spare time while applying for jobs, take on an internship in your desired field.  Look into classes, certifications or seminars that can advance your skill set.  This will give you extra experience to put on your resume and show that you took the initiative as opposed to waiting around.

8. Attend career fair

Career fairs are a great way to get in front of multiple employers looking to hire and network face to face. It provides the opportunity to showcase your communication skills and personality while participating in mini-interviews, and can help move your resume in the market.

9. Create a LinkedIn Profile

Distinguish yourself from other candidates and create a powerful LinkedIn page, that will display your skills and experiences, to show employers that you’re willing to go the extra mile and are committed to your job search.  LinkedIn statistics show that 50% of Fortune 100 companies hire through LinkedIn, demonstrating the value of this professional network when using the site to further one’s employment career. (http://www.bluerisemedia.com/linkedin-stats-demographics-of-the-professional-network-infographic/)

10. Start a blog or WordPress

Blogs are a good way to get your ideas out there and to get recognized within a targeted network of professionals in the field of your choosing.  In a recent survey on Forbes.com, only one in nine students write blogs and have presence on WordPress. Start  your own domain name through a service like GoDaddy.com, and then install WordPress on the site you have created.  You can then begin writing about anything in your field of interest. If you are looking to pursue a career in Marketing for instance, express accomplishments or ideas and share them with your network.  (http://blogs.forbes.com/danschawbel/)

Click here to view the full article.

 

FYI Solutions is always looking for top notch college graduates with an enthusiasm for learning and good interpersonal skills – following these tips will help us find you!  So remember — In today’s job market there is no guarantee that having a college degree will lead to a job; if you can differentiate yourself from the rest by following these tips, you can gain an edge over other job-seekers and greatly improve your odds of landing your first job.

 

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