You have graduated from college or university, and are now preparing to enter the job market. It’s easy to see why some recent grads get depressed when they start their initial job hunt. The job market has gone through a lot of ups and downs in recent years, and depending on the industry that you want to enter, it can seem next to impossible to get your foot in the door. It can sometimes appear that you are actually totally unprepared for the ‘real world’ of work – that you haven’t been taught what you actually need to do to land a job. This following four tips will help guide you on your job search.
Start looking right away
A lot of people take some time fresh out of college to ‘find their bearings’. Basically, to take a break. However, that can work against you when looking for a job afterwards. Employers are not fond of seeing wide gaps of unexplained absence. Naturally, it can be difficult to find employers who appear willing to employ someone that fresh out of college. That’s why it’s better to use sites that are specific to your needs such as a graduate recruitment agency. That way you can start working in industries more than willing to work with fresh talent. Even if you are working with an agency, it is a good idea to keep looking yourself as well.
Build up your employable skills
Don’t think that you’re done preparing yourself for the world of work now that you have a degree. Having an education can help you to get a job, but it’s not the only thing you need. You need to find ways of building the kind of skills that employers are looking for besides educational qualifications. It might be making yourself more computer literate, or working on your communication and written skills. It might be finding ways to display your leadership abilities or your ability to work collaboratively in a team. Whatever your gaps are, take the time to work on your soft skills, and improve them as much as possible.
Don’t forget about presentation
What you take to the table is very important. But how you present yourself in interviews is just as important. This means really preparing for interviews. Rehearsing answers that you may need, such as times when you have overcome diversity, examples of working in a team environment and other concrete examples of your accomplishments. Also make sure that you research the company that you are interviewing for. Being able to demonstrate your skills, and how you can use them to solve their current needs and challenges, demonstrates that you can take what you have learned and apply it to new environments. When you research a company, you can also ask pertinent and probing questions. It shows that you are interested not only in the position, but the company as a whole as well.
Learn to recognize bad work environments
Most people fresh out of college don’t have a lot of full-time experience in various workplace environments. It can be hard to know that being in the wrong work environment for you can waste years of your life with to little gain but a mere job title on your resume. That’s why you need to start learning about the kind of toxic environments and bosses that can make a job not worth considering and staying in. Such as employers who offer no possibility of progression, development or upwards mobility. Or bosses who are happy to take credit for your work, but are quick to lay blame when something goes wrong. You can learn a lot about a company’s culture from their offices and how employees behave while you are there. So pay attention when going for interviews and don’t be afraid to ask what it is like to work there or what the interviewer likes about working there.
Getting a job fresh out of college isn’t just about finding any job. It’s about working on your employability and finding the right kind of environment that you will enjoy working in too. Good luck!
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