Congratulations on graduating! Finishing up school is a major accomplishment that deserves praise. However, now is not the time to stagnate in front of the television for months on end. What, do you think you're Dustin Hoffman or something? Pish posh. The job market is competitive, and it's time to start hunting. Put on your safari gear, and go out and bag that career lion! Here are some job-hunting tips for recent graduates:
Aim for quality not quantity
Many young job seekers tend to send out a high quantity of resumes, figuring a high volume strategy increases their odds of getting an interview. This has become increasingly easy to do as employers now post job listings online and over social media. However, sending out hundreds of uniform resumes will likely mean you get lost in the virtual pile. Instead, find positions you feel especially fit for, and then take the time to apply with a well-researched cover letter and job-specific resume.
Utilize your network of school alumni
Four years of social networking doesn't end at graduation. Find alumni from your alma mater who have similar interests, and ask for career advice. A good way to network is by setting up informational interviews, i.e., meetings in which you ask a professional or mentor about his or her career experience to glean insights. Informational interviews are not a time to ask for a job, rather they are an opportunity to demonstrate your interest in a particular profession. Contact your college career office for additional resources.
Do your research
Many freshly graduated job seekers go into interviews unprepared. Hiring managers are looking for ambitious and articulate young professionals who have researched the position for which they are interviewing. This means being prepared for common interview questions, as well as having an understanding of the qualifications and expectations of the position.
After applying for a job, it is important to follow up to keep track of your application status. A phone call or email inquiring about the hiring timeline and reexpressing your interest in the position will go a long way. Doing so also will help an employer remember your name, which can potentially encourage them to give your resume a second look.
Network in person
Don't rely solely on social networking on the Internet when trying to expand your network. Face-to-face interactions give you an opportunity to demonstrate confidence and interest in the company.