After four (or more) years of exams, sleepless nights, and internships, you have finally graduated. Congratulations! Now it’s time to tackle the hardest part of being a college alumni: finding a job.
There are some lucky grads that have a job lined up before they even show up for commencement, which is great for them. But for the rest of us, we spend the summer searching our closets for interview outfits and rewriting our cover letters.
Before you click “send” on that job application, here are all of the things you need to keep in mind to survive the hardest job hunt of your life.
You Are Going To Get Rejected
I’m sorry to be the one to have to tell you this, but you will get turned down. Maybe a lot. Depending on what field you are going into, finding a job could be really, really hard. But, use this knowledge to your advantage. Sure, there are plenty of other recent grads out there vying for the same job, but what do you have that sets you apart? Highlight that in your resume and cover letter, and know that you won’t be accepted for every job.
Don’t Take It Personally
That being said, don’t take it to heart if you get turned down. Only one person out of a few hundred applicants can fill a job, and while you have plenty of skill, you may not be the person they are looking for. Stay positive, focus on your strengths, adapt to and fix you weaknesses, and something is bound to open up for you.
Cast The Net Wide For Better Results
Applying through just one site or focusing just on your dream company is not going to get you very far because your options are limited. Use the power of the internet to find different job sites, companies, and employment agencies to apply to or gain resources from. By accessing different platforms, you will hear of more opportunities and be able to send out more resumes than you would by using only one site or company job portal.
Ask For Feedback
Ask for feedback from not just friends, but from employer’s who have turned you down. Not only will this give you valuable insight as to what you need to work on or change, but this makes you look very responsible in the employer’s eyes. This person could become a powerful contact in the future. Plus, your resume may have to be tweaked depending on the skill set required for the job you are applying for. It never hurts to follow up with a potential employer to see if you could improve your resume and/or cover letter.
Sound More Confident Than You Are
Having a strong presence and the ability to speak to your strengths works well in interviews and cover letters, and can make up for what you may be lacking. Be confident in your abilities and honest about places where you would like to change or learn more. Companies respect humility, but you also worked really hard for your degree and you should let that show!
Networking Should Be Your #1 Priority
In most industries, it is all about who you know. Success rarely happens solo, so focus on building your network from the get-go. Going to industry events, speaking with potential employers who have turned you down, or searching your own group of friends for connections could lead you in a career direction you never imagined. A personal recommendation from someone who already works in your field is huge, and can help get your foot in the door.
Find A Mentor
To further elaborate on the importance of networking, find a mentor. We all learn from people who are older and further along in their careers. Having a mentor is a great way to gain wisdom and prepare yourself for the ups and downs of your career. A great mentor can give you insight and tips that a peer can not. You can find mentors through networking events, conferences, job fairs etc. Either way, having a mentor is a great way to get a leg up on the competition.
You Will Find Something
It’s going to be hard, and at times, very discouraging. However, with hard work and persistence, you will find something. You would not have been given a diploma if you weren’t worthy of it, so have faith in yourself and be open to possibilities. It may take longer for you to find a job than others, or shorter than other, but you will find a job.
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