After years of hard work, obstacles, and valuable lessons, it’s finally graduation season and time to begin scoping out the perfect spot to hang your diploma. It’s an exciting time, but also a valuable period for gaining professional momentum.
According to the Economic Policy Institute’s Class of 2018: College edition report, graduates in 2018 were met with better job opportunities than individuals graduating between 2009 and 2017. Here’s the catch: it’s important to note that yes, recent grads have a better chance of entering the job market than those who graduated throughout the last nine years. However, economic obstacles and challenges are still present, “particularly for women and black workers.” Whether you’re new to the job market or want to secure a position at a world-renowned organization, we’ve created a step-by-step guide to help you overcome potential challenges and land your first job with your fresh diploma in hand.
Launch Your Professional Search in 5 Steps
1. Map out your experiences, qualifications, and skills.
Chances are, you’ve written a résumé once or twice by now. However, many graduates forget to include the relevant (but unexpected) experiences and skills acquired in college. Instead, some focus solely on their previous and current jobs and write the corresponding skills pertinent to those positions. Perhaps you were involved within a student-led organization at your school. Maybe you spent your free time curating a high-traffic social media following using your skills in graphic design.
These characteristics and skills are of high-value in sharing who you are, what you’re interested in, and your ability to drive yourself forward to prospective employers. Take time to brainstorm and write them out in a format that makes sense to you.
2. Optimize your online presence.
Are your social media accounts available for potential employers to explore while prospecting you for a position? If you’d rather keep these profiles personal (with the exception of LinkedIn, of course), make time to review your privacy settings before you begin sending out résumés and cover letters. However, having a place online to showcase your work, experiences, and skills in a more tangible way than a résumé can is helpful, especially for those seeking jobs in the creative market. Consider investing in a portfolio site for yourself on intuitive website builders like Squarespace, Wordpress, or Weebly.
3. Identify, and research open positions before creating your résumé and cover letter.
This process may seem a bit backward, but trust us: understanding the companies you’re interested in — and their unique metrics for success in the position they’re hiring for — will help you optimize your application. Research these metrics and streamline your résumé by reviewing the job description. You can take it a step further and use your recently developed map of skills and qualifications to match your most relevant experiences to those laid out in the job description.
Not only does this technique help you create a clear and concise résumé, but it will help you create targeted cover letters with ease.
4. Formulate your company research into unique questions.
Your research into the unique success metrics for organizations doesn’t only help you develop a stellar cover letter and résumé, but it can go far in positioning you as sharp and informed during the interview process.
Before you head in for your formal interview, create some questions based on information shared in the job description or attained during an informal chat to demonstrate your interest and ambition.
5. Don’t be afraid to seek out help when you need it.
For many modern organizations — especially those within the tech field — your skills may sometimes play a larger part in attaining a position than your diploma. However, landing positions at these large-scale companies are not always as simple as finding a posting online and applying, no matter how targeted your résumé is.
Regardless of the position you’re aiming for post-college, research and personalization are key to helping you make the most of your time as you seek out your dream position. Looking to streamline your job search and land a position at a top tech company? Can’t find your dream job in the traditional prospect market? nexplay helps recent graduates and established professionals get their foot in the door with industry insiders using our connected community and personalized approach.
To learn more about how partnering with nexplay can help you take control of your job search, get in touch with us today.