If I had thought about it, I would have made today a "Theme Week" and that theme would have been "Graduation." Alas, I have failed miserably. But never fear, loyal readers! Since I am a wise-in-the-ways-of-the-world college graduate, I've scoured the internet and my brain for tips on postgrad life.
I am college, and so can you!
(photo credit: Thomas S. Penner, esq.)
If you find yourself lucky enough to graduate college with a job, mad props to you! In this economy, it's tough to find anything at all, let alone something in your field. Take a second and pat yourself on the back and have an ice cream or a case of Lays potato chips. You deserve it!
Many in the class of 2011, though, are unfortunately lacking in the job department. Never fear, comrades! There is hope out there. Here are some tips I compiled for the job search. (I like lists. Deal with it.)
1) Use your university's Career Services department.
Your tuition dollars are likely paying for people to help you find a job! So take advantage of the service! They can help point you in the right direction, connect you with alumni that can hook you up, revise your resume to make it awesome, etc. etc.
2) Connect with professional organizations.
Almost every field of study that I can think of, and many that I'm not smart enough to know about, is associated with a professional organization. Many organizations have student chapters on campus, so if you're a future graduate or still struggling with job placement, ask around to find out how to network with professionals in your industry. It definitely won't hurt!
3) Don't count out a company that doesn't have job postings.
If you find a company that you'd love to work for, contact them and ask if there will be any future openings! Be assertive, not annoying. You never know what amazing opportunities you can find if you put yourself out there.
4) Tailor your resume/cover letter to suit the job you're applying for.
When I applied for jobs in my field, I highlighted the skills and positions that were relevant to the position. For example, when I applied for my video editing job, I listed my specific video skills rather than mentioning I worked a cash register at a swimming pool for 3 summers. By no means should you hide information - but a quick glance at the job description can help you decide which experiences, skills and jobs you should highlight and those that might not be of interest to your potential employer.
5) Don't give up.
Apply for any jobs that sound interesting to you, regardless of if you feel you meet the criteria. Set a goal to send out a specific number of applications a week. If you don't hear back from anyone, have someone look at your resume to spruce it up. If all else fails, look for a post-graduate internship (paid or unpaid) to help flesh out your experience. (cliche alert!) The struggle will make the payoff that much better in the end.
Special thanks to this article for legitimizing my advice.