You were accepted into college, achieved your degree, and are walking away with your diploma in hand. Congratulations! Now what? Feeling overwhelmed by the pressure of your initial job search can easily develop into a downward spiral of procrastination and fear. However, you are certainly not alone in these emotions. Luckily, there are several ways of combating the pressures and nerves that come with the vulnerability of a job search. Understanding these next few strategies will not only help you boost your self-confidence but will ultimately allow you to find a job that you deserve.
Expand Your Professional Network:
We are extremely fortunate that, with a few clicks of a button, technology allows us to connect with people all over the world. It is incredibly important to take advantage of the endless opportunities to develop your professional network through far-reaching platforms such as LinkedIn. Not only should your LinkedIn profile maintain an updated summary of your professional successes, but your connection count should continue increasing each day. Invite alumni, high-school peers, or other recent graduates to connect, people love to talk about what they do! Reach out and optimize your exposure to business professions you are interested in by initiating conversations with contacts in your desired fields. Maintain relationships with prior internship and job employers you’ve had in the past, as you never know which connection will help you find a job.
Looking for more first-hand experience? Join professional development or networking groups in your city. LinkedIn provides numerous opportunities for any user looking to connect with others through professional groups.
Boost Your “Cyber” and “Real” Profiles:
Feel like your network is strong? Now it’s time to review your social media profiles. With the uprise and exponential increase in social media use, not only among millennials and Gen-Z but by the majority of all people, there has never been a more important time to clean your virtual footprint. While you might not believe that potential employers will view and strongly value your social media presence, 70% actually do.
That being said, it is vastly important to make sure your profiles showcase professional, respectable images that a potential employer would seek in a new hire. Above all, your profile picture is your most significant “virtual first impression.” For that reason, keep your headshot clear, tactful, and presentable. For a more detailed description on the “do’s” and “don’ts” of social media, check out this article.
Once your “cyber” self is up to par, focus on how you will present yourself to your employer in person. Whether preparing for a first or final interview, formal or informational, how you choose to portray your “real” self, through makeup, outfit, shoes, hairstyle, or accessories, will make or break your success.
Finally, prep and customize your resume for each opportunity you apply to. There is no reason to submit an identical resume to every position, as each varies in significant aspects. Completing thorough research will allow you to identify the company’s easily overlooked “secrets” that, if highlighted throughout your resume, will differentiate you from the rest of the applicants. For example, if a company emphasizes their integrity in their about page under company values, make sure to emphasize how and why your integrity would make you the best employee for their team. The “snapshots” of experiences on your resume must attract your employer and leave them wanting the full story, that’s where the interview comes in.
Last step … Crush Your Interview!
Your network has emerged into a powerful force, your social media is clean as a whistle, and you’re looking pretty sharp. Now, you’re ready to nail your interview. Engage with your employer and present your most positive, enthusiastic, and dedicated self. Here are a few ways to do it:
- Practice! Draft a few possible answers to “common interview questions.”
- Arrive early.
- Shake your interviewer’s hand thoroughly upon arrival.
- Maintain eye contact throughout the interview.
- Sit up straight! Shoulders back, chin up.
- Smile, maintain a happy demeanor and uphold your positive energy.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for a moment to compose yourself. Your interviewer knows that some questions may be tough, and you are much better off allowing yourself a moment to gather your own thoughts instead of rushing to provide a weak answer.
- Prepare questions for the interviewer, show your interest and that you’ve done your homework.
- Once the interview is wrapping up, thank them for their time and ask about next steps.
- Send a “thank you” follow up email within 24 hours of the interview.
If you’ve read this far into the article, you’re already half way there. Now go out and land that job!
Need a few ideas? Check out our Open Jobs!