Congratulations, you’ve graduated or are about to! What happens next? You step out into the adult world, where you aren’t just competing for grades. Now, you compete with your peers as everyone searches for the right job. This can feel daunting, but taking the right steps now could land you the job of your dreams. Here are some things you should do now to become the most marketable version of yourself.
Know Your Destination
Very few people in America enter college knowing what they want to do. This is different from Germany, where many college attendees choose the job they want to get, and eventually tailor their education to achieve that.
This method is a good practice for any student. While you may not have a specific job in mind, knowing where your values are and what you love to do can help you avoid wasting time applying for work that won’t help you achieve that. Create a road map for yourself to help you as you begin this journey.
Keep in mind: no plan survives first contact with the world. Be flexible, as more than one route exists to get where you want to go.
If you haven’t already started searching for jobs, start now. Use the roadmap you made to help you identify jobs that fit into your set of values and goals.
Next, go search for employers offering those jobs, understanding that the dream job may in actuality be several steps away. After identifying these employers, look for networking opportunities with people you know, school alumni, or events where those employers will be.
Take steps now to prepare you for future work, like leading a scholarly club, heading up a newspaper, or working with a charity organization. Look for internships offered by schools or businesses in your field. The options are endless.
Tailor Your Resume
This is a time-consuming process, but when done correctly it can really make a resume stand out, which is the goal. You want to separate yourself from the many other resumes the employer will receive. Keep in mind most resumes go through software to scan for keywords and applicable experience.
To both stand out and make it past this initial intake process, you need to customize your resume to the employer. This means researching the company and the industry, doing keyword searches online for industry buzzwords, and finding out details about this specific employer.
Make sure to list applicable job skills or certifications and cover your bases by using resume checklists.
Adjust Social Media
Employers will be looking for any clues they can find about potential employees. This is an opportunity to show off your skills and accomplishments, giving them insight into your character and potential as an employee. Use social media to connect with a company and stand out when your resume hits the HR inbox.
Make sure your social media presence reflects what you want them to see, and who you really are. Some employers require you to have a presence online, so remember that your online appearance can be as important as how you look when you show up for that first interview.