Graduation is in the air. And if that isn’t good enough news for you, get this: it’s also a great time to look for a job.
With unemployment still at record lows, companies are looking to hire and train new team members to grow into larger roles.
But just because lots of companies are hiring doesn’t mean a job will fall into your waiting hands. If you want to get the job of your dreams (today or down the road) you’ve got to set up the right foundation for success.
So as you head out looking for your first, happy, post-college job, make sure to tap these tips to get going in the right direction.
Put your best foot (and resume) forward
Create a resume for the job you want, then rework it to tailor it to every job you apply for. Even if you don’t have much job experience at this point, you still need a resume. Your resume should include a summary statement of who you are, as well as your education, skills, achievements and extracurricular activities. Be sure to list out every internship and any volunteer experience, and describe how the skills you learned or demonstrated apply to the job you are applying for.
Make a list of any companies you may want to work for. Explore their open jobs, and connect with recruiters online. Don’t rush the process. Finding a job can be a full-time (or at least a part-time) job, but now that you’re out of school, you’ll have more time to do the job right.
Get an internship
Even if you’ve had a few internships under your belt at this point, an internship could just be your entry to your dream job. Don’t shut down potential opportunities just because they don’t pay the dollars you were hoping for. When starting out your career, getting experience is invaluable and has the potential to take you a lot further than an entry-level salary. (Check out the average salaries for thousands of jobs here!)
Clean up your social media presence
Party pics may have been fun to share in college, but if you’re looking for your post-college job, make some time to clean up your social media profile. Recruiters are increasingly turning to social media to find potential candidates and get a feel for them before or after an interview. So change out the profile pic of you on spring break and opt for a more professional shot, or make sure your privacy settings are set to Friends Only. Then put your name and resume out there for the job you want!
Network, network, network
Networking is a vital part of every job search, even if, for many, the least favorite. Regardless, plan to make networking event attendance part of your post-college activities. Make it a point to meet professionals and industry moguls who may be looking for someone exactly like you—or who can connect you to someone who is.
Reach out to your existing network
No doubt you already know people in the workforce. Reach out to family, friends, siblings and old colleagues to let them know you’re in the market for a job. Don’t be afraid to let them know what you’re looking for—just have an open mind to other opportunities that might arise and even be a stepping stone to where you want to go.
Experience a day in the life
Interested in a specific company or role? Connect with employees via Linkedin, or through your networking circles to ask if you can shadow someone for the day as you observe their job or their company from the inside.
Ready to find your first happy job? Check out our more than 8 million open job listings to get started!