Summer’s fast approaching, and for some, that means college graduation and summer break is right around the corner. With a new-found freedom from school, homework, and classes, what would you do with your free time? Your answer should be to get a J-O-B. And, right now is the time to start looking.
Every new grad wants to land a full-time job with a great starting salary and benefits right out of school, but what if you can’t find a job right away in this economy? Don’t worry. If you’re striking out, consider applying for internships, even if you’ve already had one. They are a great way to get your foot in a company’s door, especially today.
Internships are a good option for companies trying to identify candidates who will be a good fit with their culture. An internship also allows you to take a look at the company to make sure it’s someplace you could see yourself working long term. In addition, some companies offer interns a stipend or a small amount of pay. That can help cover transportation costs to and from work, money for eating out, and some professional clothes. Do a good job as an intern and you could end up getting offered a full-time job when your internship comes to an end.
So, what do you need to start doing today in preparation for finding a job? Here are some key tips to follow.
Get your résumé together. Include info about your degree and experience. List all the activities you’ve helped with in school, in the community, etc. Since you don’t have a ton of professional job experience yet, this helps show employers the skills you do have. Be sure to tailor your résumé to the job you’re applying for. You really want to make your résumé stand out from the crowd.
Start networking. Now is a great time to start networking with professionals in your field of interest. By attending networking meetings, you can easily find out who’s hiring or who needs an intern. And, be sure to have your résumé with you when networking so you can give it to the contacts you make. Also in combination to your networking in person, don’t forget about networking on social media sites too.
Look the part. It’s time to ditch your favorite jeans with the holes in the knees, flip flops, and T-shirts for some professional attire to get people to take notice of you. This shows others you are serious about finding a job.
Be positive. Interviews and networking events can be nerve wracking, but don’t forget to smile when you introduce yourself. When people ask how you’re doing, give them a big smile and tell them you’re great. They’ll be interested to know why and learn more about you. Here are some additional tips to make sure your nonverbal communication sends the right message.
These tips can help you as you begin your job hunt. As part of My Entry-Level Life, we’ll be going into detail each week on a different topic to help you make a transition from where you currently are to your entry level job. Tune in next week as we talk more about how to build your résumé.
Share your thoughts about this series with us here. We want to know how you’re approaching the job hunt for your entry-level position.