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Four job hunting tips for new graduates that will help get you ready for the workplace:
- Prepare your CV
Sometimes it can be hard to know where to start when you’re sitting down to create a CV. Start with a statement of your objective but keep it factual. Avoid vague career aims that tell an employer nothing –
“I plan on developing my management skills in a fast-moving environment”.
In truth, hiring managers care very little about what you want – they want to know what you can do for them. Think about what you can offer and draw upon factual information:
“While an international business degree with 4.0 GPA demonstrates my intellectual capability, I have also developed skills in other areas, including project management skills when organizing faculty conferences. I am seeking to help an employer expand into new international territories, a subject I researched in-depth in my final-year thesis”.
Next comes your education – most likely the strongest weapon in your armory. You should include the name of the institution and the location (city and state). Also state your expected graduation date, extracurricular activities and courses related to your targeted job. If your GPA is 3.0 or higher include this as well.
Follow with your work-related experience – internships and paid/unpaid work positions. Include any responsibilities or achievements that demonstrate core competencies in your targeted job role e.g. leadership, teamwork, persistence, motivation etc.
Most graduate CVs can be kept to one page, although if you have a lot of relevant internship or work experience it may justify two pages.
- Gain practice experience
Relevant work-based experience will be a major plus when it comes to promoting your skills to employers. In 2012 a total of 2.6 million students graduated in the U.S. with a bachelors, masters or doctoral degree, and employers increasingly have to use other metrics to filter candidates.
If you have an opportunity before you graduate to gain practical experience through internships, voluntary or work in your field then grab it with both hands, particularly if it is for a well-known name in your target area – paid or unpaid. The experience and contacts you might gain will pay huge dividends for your career and will strengthen your CV considerably.
- Clean up your social media footprint
Before sending out your CV make sure your social media presence is business appropriate and doesn’t end up sabotaging your job prospects. Nearly 80 percent of employers check out applicants on the Internet and a massive 70 percent have rejected people because of their online profile, according to research by Microsoft.
Facebook: Check your profile and photos (including those you are tagged in) and delete or untag any that would be embarrassing if an employer were to see them – parties, drunkenness, drug taking or those that are just plain embarrassing. An app called SimpleWash, developed by a group from a Kent State University can help to identify potential Facebook issues by scanning against a pre-set or customizable keyword list. Not only will this review your own profile it will also check comments by other people on your photos or posts.
LinkedIn: If you don’t already have a profile then create one as soon as possible. There are 74 million users in the U.S. and the site is the No.1 social media platform for businesses. Employers are increasingly using LinkedIn to source their next employees – site members did over 5.7 billion searches in 2012 – and there is a good chance that your next employer will use the site to source staff.
- Get networking
Firstly, clarify what your brand or proposition is. What kinds of roles are you interested in? What are your key skills? How can you bring value to an employer?
Then put together a list of everyone you know who may be able to help you in a professional sense. This can include mentors and academic contacts, friends of parents, parents of friends, relatives, family professional connections etc. Basically, anyone who may be in a position to recommend you to their circle of contacts.
The chances are small that one of your direct contacts will have an opening for you, but they may know someone else who is hiring and having a personal introduction can make a colossal difference in differentiating you from the 2.6 million other graduates who are on the job market.
Download English Trackers tips on Writing a Good Resume.
About the Author: This article was contributed by CVrite.co.uk – visit their article directory for further advice on resumé preparation and job seeking in general.
Photo credit: University of Denver via photopin cc
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