College graduations are being celebrated, and newly-minted grads are looking for jobs. If you are just graduating, you will want to be able to stand out during the job search. You also need to be ready to take advantage of any opportunity that comes your way.
According to NPR, only half the college grads from 2009-2011 are finding work. That number isn’t likely to improve as a fresh crop of 2012 grads enters the fray. If you are looking for some tips for the job hunt, Ellen Lubin-Sherman, from The Essentials of Fabulous, shared some great tips for college graduates:
- Have a business card in your wallet at all times: You may not have a job title on it yet, but include your skill set and contact info. (My own business cards were printed at Moo.com, which offers low prices, and the ability to customize.)
- Follow companies you’re interested in on social media sites: Many companies tweet position openings and you can see what’s new in your industry on sites such as LinkedIn, whether it’s a topic starter in an interview or to see a connection at the company.
- Create an online portfolio to share your work easily by just sending a link: You should be proud of your accomplishments and want others to see.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help: Sit down with your family and ask for the names of their most connected friends. Make it plain that you do not expect these friends to give you a job –– all you’re hoping for is an introduction.
- Remember to maintain a job search/life balance: Compose a snappy cover letter and then meet a friend for coffee. Looking for a job is tough work but don’t torture yourself while doing it. It’s only temporary.
- Never email a thank you note: Eighty percent of applicants never send a thank you note so you’re not competing with the world – just the top 20%. Outperform the competition and always send a handwritten note even if you don’t get the offer — the person they’ve hired could turn out to be a dud and your note might clinch it for you.
- Full-time jobs with benefits are few: So take a part-time job in a field that interests you. Ask a company if you could do an “audition” and work for a few weeks without pay. Stay busy so interviewers see that your resume displays your ability to hustle.
I like the commonsense advice shared. It’s important to remember that social media is playing an increasing role in the job search, and you need to pay attention to your profiles. I also like the realistic view that you might have to work part-time. You can also engage in an internship. It’s important to show that you are making progress and working on a marketable skill. If you want a job, you have to show that you are ready for one — and that you can bring value. It’s definitely an employer’s market out there on the job hunt, and you have to be able to stand out.