Written by Dave Cullen
Congratulations, you’ve finally completed your exams and you’re now about to graduate from college. It’s important to take stock of what you’ve achieved and appreciate all of the hard work and commitment it took to get to where you are right now. However, as one door closes, another opens and you are about to cross the threshold to begin your new career.
The post-college job search can be a daunting period; the following is a list of 5 tips to help make the process a little easier.
Set yourself a job search target: The stress and intensity of studying and exams means that many graduates decide to take a well-earned break or holiday immediately after finishing college. This makes perfect sense, you may have just completed three or four years of study prior to this and it’s only right to reward yourself. However, be sure to set yourself a clear deadline for the commencement of your job search. Failing to do this can result in a lack of focus or procrastination.
Plan your summer in advance: Prior to your graduation, get the ball rolling on what you intend to be doing over the summer, perhaps a temp-job or an internship. The rest of your class mates will be scrambling for summer placements, it’s a competitive time. The sooner you start planning, the better.
Develop a strong CV and Interview Technique: Arguably a more important document than your birth cert or your passport, your CV is the key to your future career success. We have already produced a myriad of CV-related articles, for more information on producing a high quality CV check out the following links: CV Checklist: Peter Cosgrove’s guide to improving your CV , The Do’s and Don’ts of CV writing and 5 Tips for improving your CV. Likewise your interview skills will need to be developed, be sure to read some of our previous articles: Job Interviews: Perfecting your Technique and How to Answer the most common interview questions.
Take work where you can find it: You may not immediately find a job in your area of study right away, it may take some time. The job market can be saturated with graduates over the summer months; the right opportunity may not immediately present itself. In the meantime, it is important for you to remain active in the work force. Regardless of the type of work you find, it will provide you with an income and give you invaluable experience of the dynamics and routines of the working world. You can always spend your free time searching for your ideal job.
Build your network: The process of building a large contacts base is a great method of discovering new job opportunities. Developing and maintaining strong connections with professional people will provide you with a powerful career resource in which to draw on. Candidates, who are referred for a job through a close contact, are 50% more likely to be hired over an applicant who applies through conventional means. Many people reject networking because they believe they don’t have enough valuable contacts. They think their social circles are too small and therefore not useful. Make a list of all of your immediate friends, family members, former bosses, peers, college professors, neighbours and casual acquaintances. All of these people are in your network. For more advice on networking follow these links: How to use networking to find a job and Top 4 Benefits of a strong Professional Network.