Finding a job right after graduation is not always easy. There is usually tough competition from other graduates. Not only do you have to compete with other graduates from top schools, but you also have to compete with those who have work experience in your field. Some college graduates do not fully understand exactly what companies are looking for in applicants or how to construct a resume. This can cause frustration over time. There are steps you can take to avoid problems and have the best chance of landing that job!
Create Custom Resumes
Using a single generic resume puts recent graduates at a disadvantage. Every resume should be customized to match the job and employer. This means changing objectives, excluding irrelevant experience and using relevant terms to describe personal skills. Look at the job description, match keywords and skills listed to your resume. Some companies scan your resume for keywords using software and they won’t even look at it unless it has certain words that match what they are looking for. Customizing a resume is something that hiring managers like to see. It shows genuine interest in the specific job or company.
Dress and Communicate Professionally
All companies want graduates to dress and communicate professionally when arriving for an interview. Graduates should wear formal clothes in conservative styles and colors. Additionally, it is important to always communicate professionally whether speaking in person, writing an email or talking over a cell phone. Graduates should speak with respect, avoid inappropriate language and phrase statements concisely. Always address your interviewer by their title and last name unless directed otherwise.
Keep a Reliable Cell Phone
Employers will not waste time trying to repeatedly contact a graduate for an interview or job offer. It is important to keep a reliable cell phone nearby at all times. A good choice is an Android phone like those at http://www.bell.ca/Mobility/Operating systems/Android.tab because graduates can receive calls and check emails from the same device. It also helps to have a phone with a SIM card from Bell.ca since this makes it possible to change devices without changing phone numbers or accounts. If you do change your phone number, make sure that you update your resume accordingly. If you have applied for any jobs you haven’t heard from before changing your number, be sure to either call them or email them to update them on your new number. Maintaining a reliable cell phone will ensure graduates can always be reached.
Highlight Soft Skills
Soft skills are non-technical skills that many employers look for. They include leadership, teamwork skills and other personal traits that will help indirectly with a job. Soft skills can be listed directly on a resume. They should also be mentioned during interviews. Companies want to see soft skills in candidates. These are especially important if they are skills listed in the job description. Re-read the job posting before your interview and practice answering questions using skills they have requested.
Edit Social Media Accounts
Employers today are likely to look at the public social media accounts of recent graduates. A good practice is to edit the accounts and remove anything could appear offensive, controversial or inappropriate. In-jokes or funny postings from college could be perceived negatively by employers. Although it is acceptable to go out and relax on the weekends, you don’t want to have a profile picture of you drinking at the club. This type of content might cost a graduate a job. Don’t think that because your webpage is private or personal that it won’t be seen. Consider anything on the web as public and change your profile picture to a professional looking head shot.
It can take time to find a first job after graduation. Graduates need to remain persistent. It is important to never let a few rejected applications create doubt or negativity. Learn from your mistakes. When one job calls you to let you know you did not make the cut, thank them for their time and ask them if there is anything you can improve on in the future. Always maintain respect and stay professional, you never know when another opportunity might open up at the same company. Write every cover letter and approach every interview with a positive and optimistic attitude. This will impress employers and give you a better chance and getting that job!