For many business students, the last few weeks of school leading up to graduation can be bittersweet. On the one hand, you’ve almost made it! You’re entering the job market newly certified, ready to tackle whatever your industry throws at you. On the other hand, you don’t know exactly where you’re going to land, job-wise. Not having employment lined up after your final semester can be truly terrifying. But you’re not alone. Unless they’ve scored a position from an internship or practicum post, all grads find themselves pounding the pavement soon after their last exam. Still, there are a few strategies you can put into practice either during your program’s final weeks, or just after graduation – steps that will help you maximize your chances of getting that first foot in the door:
Use Your College Resources
Make use of NAHB’s career advising and support services. These are a great starting place for your job search because they’re run by experienced professionals – people who can help you prepare an impactful resume, practice interviewing, and learn to use employment databases. Whether you’re pursuing dental assistant training or finishing up accounting courses, the career advisors will know the best places for you to begin your job search.
And don’t forget about joining your college alumni network. These are important contacts who can help you by sharing their own experiences and offering support, and perhaps even connecting you with a job opening they’ve heard about in your field. And that leads us to our next strategy…
Build Your Network
Most jobs go to someone who knows someone. Connections and contacts are an increasingly important aspect of job searching. Talk to other people in your field. Create a LinkedIn profile, expand your social networks, get the word out there that you’re newly qualified and ready for a challenge. If your school hosts alumni events or job fairs, attend every one of them and talk about your enthusiasm for your field.
Even better, reach out to two or three professionals in your industry – or alumni – and ask to set up a 30 minute coffee chat or phone call. Ask them about their experiences, how they got started, and any other advice they can offer. Do not ask them for a job – just to share their expert insights. And then, ask them to introduce you to two or three more relevant contacts on Linked In. This is how you grow a professional network, and increase your chances of landing a position.
Stick To A Schedule
Looking for a job is a job in itself. So, create a daily schedule for yourself and stick to it. Set aside working hours each day to search for jobs, perfect your resume, and grow your network. You may also consider volunteering to fill in some of those extra hours. For example, if you’ve just completed early childhood assistant training but haven’t found a position yet, look for volunteering opportunities through local community centers. This way, you’ll be adding to your resume and your experience, which will help you stand out come interview time.
What’s your most effective job search strategy?