It might seem a little early to start worrying about finding a full-time job in May 2011, but I think the earlier you start preparing the better. Maybe it’s because I’m on the five year plan to two degrees, but I started thinking about the job search with my graduating peers during the spring. A few of my friends got jobs in November 2009, some got them right before graduation, and others just got them or are still struggling. Especially in these times, you don’t just automatically get a job because you have a degree and put a few applications out there. It takes preparation to competitively position yourself against the millions of other graduating seniors all over the country, every single year. That’s why I want to get a head start.
It seemed fortuitous that I had an informational interview this morning and was thinking about the job search when I opened my e-mail inbox and one of the articles featured on PR Daily was “6 Tips for Finding a PR Job after College” by Jacqueline Akbarian. Perfect!
Although you have probably heard some of the tips before, it doesn’t hurt to reinforce them. I have also inserted my own advice into some of the points.
1. Be persistent – Don’t be discouraged by “no” or no answer when applying. You will most likely apply to far more jobs than you get interviews. Stay motivated!
2. Build your network – Build your network online and offline. Use social media tools to connect with professionals in your geographic and/or interest area, join networking organizations (Young Professionals Network, www.ypnphilly.com, is a great one in Philadelphia), and don’t forget that even though your professors are in the classroom now, it doesn’t mean they aren’t well connected. The article states that 80 percent of people get jobs through someone they know. Leverage your relationships!
3. In-person, surprise visit – Be a go-getter and show up at the corporate office. Depending on the corporate culture, they may be annoyed at you for interrupting their day or perhaps they will admire your ambition and it will help you land your dream job.
4. Follow-up – The article suggests calling about a week after you submitted an application if you haven’t heard anything. On another note, make sure to follow-up with a “thank you” after any interview you have. This should be within 1-3 days.
5. Be professional and classy (all the time) – You never know who you’re going to meet, and when you’re going to meet them.
6. Keep an open mind – Don’t settle for something you hate, but realize that you may need more experience and your dream job may be one step further in your career.
I look forward to keeping you updated on the job search and would love to hear about yours as well! Graduates, do you have any tips that helped you land your first full-time job after college?