College life can be difficult. Your classes keep you busy, your schedule is all over the place, and you have to juggle extracurriculars, social time, and maybe even a job. As you approach graduation, you feel even more pressure, since society expects you to start a career. However, finding a job is not an easy task.
What’s an almost-grad to do?
Luckily, it’s not impossible to find a paying gig. The best way to ensure that you do is to prepare in advance (even if that’s just 6 months before graduation) and to keep an open mind about potential job opportunities. Follow these six tips to land a great post-college job:
1. Take any work experience you can get during college.
This is the single most valuable way you can prepare yourself for a career. Any college work experience is valuable, even if it’s minimum wage or unpaid. Plus, these experiences will genuinely help you be a stronger worker when you get hired for your first post-college job. You don’t want a blank résumé when you apply for a job, so get working!
2. Develop your soft skills.
Teamwork and communication are the most important workplace skills. No matter which position you start, you will have to work with others. Luckily, the workplace isn’t like those painful college group projects where your partners leave you to do all the work. With that said, you still can’t be the person who just does all the work yourself and doesn’t collaborate because “it’s easier that way.” Work on your collaboration and communication skills. Having these soft skills will impress recruiters and interviewers.
3. Prepare your résumé and LinkedIn profile.
A good résumé and complete LinkedIn profile are essential to finding the right job after college. Recruiters shuffle though so many résumés and see so many LinkedIn pages daily that yours needs to stand out. You can start with a free résumé template and go from there. Add all of the information you can to your LinkedIn profile, and use the site to help you find jobs. Then, have someone else critique both your résumé and your LinkedIn. That way, they’ll catch red flags before a potential employer does.
4. Research all of the positions available in your chosen field.
There isn’t just one career path in each field. Each field generally has a multitude of positions and trajectories for you to consider. Plus, with growing fields like alternative energy or cryptocurrency, new types of jobs emerge constantly. Research all of the options in your chosen field to make sure that you’re including every possible position in your job search.
5. Seek out opportunities to meet professionals in your field.
Networking with professionals in your desired field can be a great way to uncover unique job openings that might not be online. See if you college has a mentorship program with professionals in your industry. You can also look for networking events and job fairs. Even if you don’t immediately land a job offer, you may connect with a future supervisor or co-worker.
6. Practice interviewing, then practice some more.
Some people are good at interviewing, and others are not. However, interviewing skills are crucial for everyone. Every hiring process includes an interview for good reason — employers want to get to know you. With that said, interviews can be difficult to navigate. The best way to prepare for your interviews is to practice, practice, practice. Hold mock interviews with friends, and check your school’s career center for career development workshops that provide interview tips.
Your job search process may vary a little based on your chosen field, but these tips can help anyone land the right job. Finding a good post-college job is certainly within your power. Gain experience, prepare as far in advance as you can, and practice the skills that your dream job requires. You’re going to rock your job hunt!
What is your best job search tip? How is your job search going? Tell us in the comments!