Graduation will be here before you know it, and if you’re a college senior you’re probably starting to face the realization that “real life” is staring you right in the face! Unless you know you’re going straight into grad school you may be starting to get excited—and possibly a little nervous—about the prospect of entering the work force. If you’re wondering what you should be doing in order to ensure you land an amazing post-graduation job, there are a few straightforward things that will move you in the right direction.
Formulate a Resume.’ It’s possible you haven’t had to write a resume’ until now. But fear not! It’s actually fairly easy. Before you begin, read through a few sample resumes to get an idea of what’s expected. Generally people list things like work experience, special training/skills and education (here’s where you’ll soon get to list your hard-earned college degree)! There are all kinds of resume’ templates available online (some cost a little money) if you need help making sure yours stands out. Using one isn’t necessary, but can give you an edge in the professional job market. For similar reasons it’s a good idea to have someone proofread your resume’ before you send it off.
Use Your Resources. If you haven’t already done so, stop in at your school’s career services office and let them help you drum up job placement opportunities. It’s what they’re good at, after all! Consider also creating a profile on LinkIn.com or utilize online job sites such as coolworks.com or collegeGrad.com. Find out if your college or city hosts an annual career fair and make it a point to attend.
Reach Towards Natural Connections. A buzz word around employment is “networking.” And truly, it is arguably the way most of us catch wind of job opportunities. Whether it’s through an internship, past working relationships, or a volunteer or job shadowing experience–make sure and talk to the people you know, especially those related to your field of interest. Chances are they know someone who knows someone who can plug you into a position that’s a perfect fit for your skillset! If you don’t feel especially well connected, consider pursuing one of the above- mentioned opportunities. Why? One survey showed that approximately 50% of the participants received their first job offer as a result of a college internship.
Be Real. When it comes to finding your ideal job, it’s important to move toward what captures your heart and brings you life, while also keeping in mind that it’s ok to try things out and change lanes if your first job isn’t a great fit. Many graduates start out in entry level positions and work their way up in a company or career. There is no “conventional path” you must take, and the route to where you need to go is as uncharted and unique as your individual fingerprint. Don’t try to duplicate what’s standard protocol for everyone else; do what fits best with your unique needs and goals. When interviewing for a position, remember that you can ask questions too! The sense of finding a “good fit” needs to go both ways. My friend Melissa recently told me about a job interview where she got brutally honest in the middle of the conversation. When asked, “Why do you think you would be a good fit for this position?” she answered truthfully, “I’m not convinced I would be,” and then went on to describe her hesitations. The interviewer ended up offering Melissa a different job within the company and it turned out to be the best job she ever had! Never settle for being anything less than who you are! In the end it will serve you well.
Remember to Pray. It sounds like an “add on” but actually, it’s the most important starting point. The Bible says, “You have not because you ask not” (James 4:2). So make sure you are bringing your job placement needs before the Lord and seeking His will for your life and future. He sees all, knows all and is the ultimate and best resource you’ve got! Best of all, He’s trustworthy; the path He guides you down may not be perfectly straight and smooth but you can rest assured your Father won’t lead you astray!