By Randy Wooden
If you’re a college student or know one who is, today’s blog is for you. Here are three tips for landing that first job after graduation.
#1. For those about to graduate, you’ve missed this one already. Internships give you exposure to corporate life and a leg up on your competition since the company with which you’re interning gets to see you in action. If you were an employer, wouldn’t you feel better hiring someone you’d already seen work? Their hard skills and their people skills? You bet. Internships often lead to a first job after graduation.
How do you land an internship? Check with your school’s career center for assistance. They’ve likely established corporate relationships. Talk with other students to learn how they secured theirs.
#2. Network, network, network. You’ve heard this before. It’s more than asking others who they know might be hiring. Let’s explore in more detail.
If you haven’t done so, create a LinkedIn account. Think of LinkedIn as a large professional network where you’re able to connect (or “link”) with others for any number of reasons including leveraging those connections to help get a leg up during the hiring process.
Conduct searches for alums already in the workplace. The fact you share a common college experience means they’re more likely to accept your connection invitation and share their college-to-corporate transition experiences.
Go to your school’s career center or virtual site to see companies that have taken part in past campus hiring fairs. If the school can’t or won’t provide recruiter contact information, check for those people via LinkedIn.
Your goal is to build rapport so that a hiring official will either know you directly or know someone who knows you and can put in a good word for you.
#3. Don’t stress. The job you land out of school will be the first step on a long journey of learning as you go. You may find your first job or industry isn’t what you’d hoped it would be. Take that knowledge as you move forward.
Unlike decades ago, people entering the workforce are much more likely to change careers than ever before. If you’re the parent of a college student, are you doing the sort of work you did right out of school? How relevant is your degree in your present job?
Bonus Tip: Consider volunteerism to build your network, references and experience if you aren’t able to land a career-oriented job right out of school. It look good on your resume, and you’ll likely meet people who have a similar passion. They might be able to assist you with your job search. Good luck!