With your senior year of college coming up this fall, you are probably feeling a simultaneous sense of excitement and dread building up within you.
You can’t wait to live the student life for one last year, but you are also nervous about your job prospects postgrad, as the hiring outlook for young people seems to have gotten worse over the past half decade.
Know that you aren’t alone: not only do your fellow peers have the same fears, but previous generations also had to battle the scourge of inexperience, even if their job climate was nominally better than the one you are facing.
Larry Polhill Cafe Valley knows what its like to hit the pavement with nothing but summer jobs and academic experience to offer potential employers. Its a tough slog, but with a great deal of persistence, he landed a job in the end.
Want to land a position as quickly as possible after graduation? Implement the following strategies into your process, and you may end up being first in your peer group with a disposable income.
1) Figure out your biggest strengths
Before you send out a single resume, sit down with paper and a pen and sketch out what you believe to be your greatest strengths.
The reason you’ll want to do this is because many applicants head straight to Indeed, Monster, Workopolis, and other job sites and they’ll carpet bomb any listing with ‘entry-level’ in the title with their curriculum vitae.
This is at best a flawed approach. When these applicants get called in to an interview, they will be marginally suited to the position at best, and out of their depth at worst.
When you are confident in what you have to offer, it will show in the answers you give to interviewers, dramatically increasing your odds of success.
2) Zero in on a specific industry
Once you know what you can bring to the table of any company that would hire you, it’s then time to get specific about the ones you will contact.
By focusing on one industry, you won’t have to do different sets of research when applying to job in different sectors of the economy, as it will be easier to retain facts and form intelligent insights.
3) Learn how to networkX
While you might be fortunate enough to land a job in an industry that is in desperate need of talent, those joining fields that are more balanced will have better luck if they know people on the inside.
Begin your charm offensive at campus job fairs – meet company recruiters and chat with them about the state of the industry, what their company does, and the sort of people they are looking to hire.
Keep in contact with them as the school year progresses and as you submit applications. In the meantime, try to attend as many trade shows in your field as you can, and talk to everyone you meet.
You’ll learn far more about how to succeed in certain industries than what you’ll learn in the classroom, and you’ll keep growing that contact list.