Here’s a sad truth: our youth are particularly susceptible to the throes of unemployment.
Unemployment rates among young people these days far exceed the national average. Yes, it’s a common belief that a young person should struggle a bit after college because the job market is a whole new ball game compared to college. But if you know what you’re doing, you might end up struggling less than others.
With some planning and by having a clear goal in mind it’s possible to find the job right after college. The key is to understand the purpose of this job in your overall career path and to start preparing for it much before the graduation.
This isn’t your dream job
A first job could help you jumpstart a career, but more often than not, it isn’t a crucial part of your professional path. This means that you shouldn’t be looking for a dream job right away. Instead, focus on a position from which you can learn the most about the industry you want to work in and that can expand the knowledge you acquired in college. The first job usually lasts for 18 to 30 months, so figure out how much you can learn in that time frame and make that your priority.
This may sound a bit cynical, but try to think of everyone you meet in college as a networking resource. Start with your fellow students, but don’t stop there – the professors and alumni could help you out with finding a suitable gig. Have in mind that it’s a friend of a friend that knows someone, most of the time. This doesn’t mean that you should make friends based on potential job opportunities, but don’t hesitate to talk about your professional future and plans. Many people seek new careers nowadays and it is important to be prepared in pursuing the career you want to take. Sometimes you have to first upgrade your skills while being in entry-level before trying to take another step in the corporate ladder.
The right graduate program
If you start thinking about job opportunities only after you finished college – you’re too late. The job hunt should begin while you’re still in college, preferably by selecting a graduate program that provides enough practical professional experience. Premium Graduate program, for instance, provides students with both internships and mentors to guide them through career selection. Another option is to let the faculty help you with crafting a well-written resume and coach you about personal interview. All of this can help you advance in your career significantly, because every advice will be coming from people who are well versed in the industry you’re about to enter.
An elevator pitch
The term elevator pitch comes from sales. It’s basically a pitch for a product that you can go through in an elevator, meaning fast and without preparation, when the right opportunity arises. Work on a pitch like this for yourself. Be prepared to present your resume in a quick and interesting way at all times. The speech should be similar to an ordinary job interview, but it shouldn’t feel rehearsed and forced like those interviews often are. Try recording yourself while doing it and go through the video a few times to see what you are doing right or wrong.
LinkedIn is one of those social networks everyone has, but nobody really uses. It’s actually perfect for job hunting – you just need to know how to harness its power. You can search for a job on LinkedIn based on keywords, country or zip code. Advanced options will allow you to search for job titles, functions or even salary. Also take advantage of your contacts to get referrals and recommendations. LinkedIn uses these to let the HR managers sort through the applicant and helps you stand out.
It’s quite possible to land a good job right after college. You need to figure out what that job is and start preparing for it much before the actual graduation day.