You worked hard to complete your program and now you have your diploma in hand. The next big step is to start looking for a job. Unfortunately this task is often filled with uncertainty and stress. To make the process more bearable, it’s useful to approach job hunting with purpose and a clear plan in mind.
In the meantime, consider these tips on how to conduct your job search:
1. Leverage Your Network
You should inform your close friends, family members, references, and any industry contacts that you’re job hunting. These individuals may be able to provide meaningful advice on how to conduct a job search, but also they may know of specific employers who are currently hiring.
A side note to this point is the importance of maintaining positive relationships with the professionals in your life. Even if it’s just a coffee every few months with a parent’s friend who works in the same industry, these types of conversations could lead to job opportunities at any point in your career.
2. Conduct an Overhaul on Your Social Media Accounts
While social media can be a valuable tool in forming new connections and marketing your personal brand, it can also be used by prospective and current employers to gain greater insight into a candidates level of professionalism.
Before you send off your resume, take a trip through your online profiles and ask yourself if there is any content on the account that you wouldn’t want an employer seeing. If there is, consider deleting it.
This is also a good time to create a profile on career-based networking sites like Linkedin.
3. Build a Schedule
Our Career Services department always recommends for students and alumni to treat their job search like a full-time job, and like any job it’s helpful have a clear understanding of how you will breakdown your time.
One way to go about this task is to purchase a day planner (if you don’t already have one) and account for the time you will spend each day searching for work. You can further breakdown this time by detailing the specific tasks you will perform to search for work.
For example, on day one, you may read through career blogs to learn more about resume writing, and on day two, you may do some preliminary research into the organizations you’re interested in applying at.
Whatever the tasks may be, accounting for them in writing will allow you to anticipate how long they will take as well as keep track of your progress.
4. Thoroughly Research the Companies and Job Postings You’re Applying to
Friends and families may offer a range of tips on how to conduct a job search, but one of the points that often gets left out is the need for conducting thorough research on the companies you’re applying to. The reason this is key is because a research session will provide concrete information about companies and any open positions that you can then leverage to tailor your applications to specific organizations’ needs.
Open the job ad and write down any mandatory qualifications, key words, and repeated phrases you find in the ad and use these details to customize your cover letter and resume to the needs of the employer. If nothing else, this will demonstrate how your skill sets match the exact qualifications outlined in the job ad.
5. Create Job Applications You’re Proud of
Develop a resume and cover letter that’s error-free and clearly outlines how your past job experiences and training will directly benefit the employer in question. This may seem straightforward, but applications submitted for job openings at the college are frequently filled with spelling mistakes, incoherent sentence structures, and glaring typos.
These errors are easily avoidable if you take the time to proofread your writing. If possible, get a trusted friend, family member, or Career Services advisor to read over your application before sending it off.
As outlined in the previous point, make sure to customize each cover letter and resume to the various positions you’re applying for.
6. Be Proactive
If you’re in the market for a job, be proactive – send out resumes, attend job fairs, and network! Don’t wait around for opportunity to come knocking on your door.
One helpful tip is to set daily job search goals for yourself, like sending out three job applications or finding five new job ads you intend on applying to. These types of measurable targets will work hand-in-hand with your job search schedule to hold you accountable to your full potential.
7. Be Open Minded
If you’re set on landing one job, it can be very discouraging if your goals aren’t realized. Be open minded to multiple job opportunities and put in your best effort on every job application you submit. This will ensure you receive more call-backs from employers and prevent feelings of discouragement and self-doubt.
8. Seek Advice
Whether it’s reaching out to our Career Services department or securing a mentor within your industry, the more conversations you’re having around your job search, the more likely you are to discover new information, and possibly even a lead on work opportunity. The takeaway here is to talk to as many people in your field as possible and establish yourself as someone who takes their search for meaningful employment seriously.
9. Get Creative
Even prior to beginning your job search, you may find it helpful to make a list of career resources you can visit to find employment opportunities. If you’re someone who exclusively looks online to find job ads, consider visiting a career fair or networking event, or opening up the classified section of the news paper.
The goal here is to get creative and forget your narrow-minded views on how to conduct a job search. Instead, opt for job hunting that takes you out of your comfort zone and into the real world.
10. Don’t Get Discouraged
Applying for work can be a vulnerable process that leaves you feeling discouraged at times. To avoid this feeling, continue to remind yourself that almost everyone endures the cycle of applying for work, not hearing back from an employer, and beginning the job search all over again. This cycle is part of what fuels our ability to work hard in a career setting as well as in our personal lives.
Following the above tips is the first step in securing a meaningful career opportunity in the field of your choosing. We encourage students alumni of Robertson to reach out to our Career Services department with questions on how to conduct a job search that will produce results. We’re here to help you find and obtain the career of your dreams!