Job hunting for graduates
With graduation day fast approaching, you may be in a panic with no job in sight. Though it's quite common to graduate without a job offer, here's how to make sure you get a job after graduation.
Gather your resources
Your first stop should be your career services offices. Visit them often! They are a great resource to give you detailed personalized advice, and connect you with internships and job leads. There's no where else you can go and get that kind of assistance, free of charge, so utilize it while you can. Ask for a career coaching session, have them critique your resume, ask what internships are available and have them help you apply.
Utilize the Internet
About 80 percent of all jobs are filled through networking, which means only 20 percent of all jobs are advertised online or in the classifieds. While it's good to search online for internships and entry level positions, the main focus of your job search should be on networking through the various methods above. However, as a new grad, the internet can be a great way to learn about your new field and what qualifications and experience you need to get the job you want.
Visit the job boards, such as Monster.com, and research the job postings to familiarize yourself with the job market. The Internet is a powerful tool to advance your career, as long as you use it in the right perspective.
Network with friends and family
Ask them to help you, but be very specific as to what you want them to do. Rather than ask them if they know of any job openings or internships, ask them if they could forward your resume along to their friend that works at XYZ company for review. The more they know about what you are looking for and what you want them to do, the easier it is for them to help out.
Make sure your resume is glowing
If you are not getting phone calls, interviews or any response from your resume, it's time to give it a closer look. Rather than merely listing your job responsibilities for each position, focus on your achievements and the results of your efforts. For example, instead of writing "responsible for maintaining company database," write "tripled the size of the company database within six months of taking over the assignment." As a recent graduate, you should opt for a functional resume, rather than a chronological resume. Again, have your career services office help you develop content.
Join a professional association
It's a great tactic for recent graduates to brush up on your industry and go to workshops and other events. This will introduce you to new contacts, and makes a fabulous addition to your resume (at a time when content can be sparse). If they offer one, definitely take advantage of the mentorship program, and let a seasoned professional guide you in your career.
A professional association will show a dedication to your new field, and help you get your foot in the door. Many have student membership rates, or allow students to join for free, so act before you graduate. It's an easy way to get some experience.
Become involved with volunteering
It will connect you with more experience to put on your resume, possible references, and sometimes even job leads. If you go through a large volunteer organization, you can usually pick and choose the types of projects you take on, and choose one relevant to your field.
Take any temp positions or part time jobs that come your way
They can provide a much needed source of income and sometimes lead to more professional level positions -- for example a sales position at Target is a great foot in the door for a human resources position or managerial position. Many companies, such as Enterprise Rent-A-Car, only promote from within. Plus, Murphy's Law says it's easier to get a job when you already have a job.
Approach a small business and propose that you work as an unpaid intern
Set a certain amount of time for your services in exchange for the experience and a reference at the end of the terms. Sometimes, this will lead to a permanent position -- small businesses are the largest source of employment in the US and are not to be underestimated.