One of the most stressful times for most University students is just after graduation. With the high level of competition and also the lack of jobs, it is becoming increasingly difficult to land your dream job out of University.
The first and most important step to start the process to land your dream job is breaking down the job search into small manageable pieces.
By following the tips in this article one step at a time, you might be lucky to get a job in 30 days – or even sooner.
This guide follows a step by step process (from writing your resume, preparing for interviews) and into the final stage of accepting job offers and resumption at your new office.
Further in the article, we also see some unconventional ways that you can go about your job search that can give you an edge.
These are some hacks that would give an added bonus when trying to land your dream job out of university.
Tips to Land your Dream Job Out of University
1. Write the Perfect Resume:
Writing a good resume can be challenging when starting out. Rather than just stating random details, it is important to put in details that are specific to the position you are trying to get an interview for.
You can either create a new resume or tweak your old one using this steps I would show you in this chapter.
How to Build a Resume in Easy Steps
Compile your Employment and Personal Information
It would much easier for you to write your resume if you already have all the details you would need for the resume in front of you. Editing or formatting your resume after this would be much easier.
Have a list of your former employments, education, credentials, referrals etc prepared as you start writing your resume.
Write Your Resume
These are the most important things that must be found in your resume:
Full Name (Miley C. Applicant or Miley Applicant)
Street Address (options for listing your address)
City, State, Zip
Email Address (use your personal email address, not work address)
Telephone Number (incase for missed calls, make sure that your voicemail is professional)
Profile or Objective:
Your profile is a condensed version of a cover letter.
The purpose of a profile is to show the employer quickly and convincingly that you are the best person for the job.
Other names for a resume is personal profile statement, profile statement, resume summary, career summary, or summary of qualifications.
Note: this part of the resume can be optional. It shows what you have to offer without the hiring manager going through the whole resume.
Some images showing examples of profile resume:
Summary of your Qualifications
This is an important area of your resume that details your skills, abilities and what qualifies you for the job.
Your summary can be short and catchy or it can be a bit longer. I would show you examples of both.
- Assistant Editor for National Newspaper Company
- Five years experience of human resource management
- Seasoned sales professional
Extended Summary Examples
“Significant experience with AIX, HP/UX, Windows, VB.NET, C#, .NET Framework, C, C++, SQL Server, Oracle, DB2, and business systems.”
“Experienced professional with planning and organizational skills that balance work, team support and ad-hoc responsibilities in a timely and professional manner.”
- List some of the positions that you have held in the past in a chronological manner. Your recent job held should be at the top of the list.
- Include job title, company, location, dates of employment for each of the positions held.
- Use verb tense or present tense if you are currently employed or past tense for prior employments.
If you have done any volunteer work that is valuable to the position you trying to get.
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Your education should be shown in chronological order with the most recent and advanced degrees first.
Adding your GPA depends on how long ago you graduated and how high your GPA is.
At this level, add any certifications that you may have acquired over the years.
Awards and Accomplishments:
It isn’t a bad idea if you add any award or accolades you have. It can be an added bonus to you.
Add your skills or abilities in a bulleted format in this section of the resume. Some employers look for these skills section especially to see what you can add to the company other that your degree.
Ensure you put the skills you really have. Do not just add skills that look nice because you want to make your resume attractive.
This article by Balance Career shows an example of each part of a resume.
Related reading: 22 Behaviours That Helps Improve Emotional Intelligence
2. Develop a New Skill
You cannot develop all the skills in that infographic in a short period of time. The logical thing would be to choose one or two skills that would add value to your credentials and develop them.
For example, you lack some computer knowledge that is specific to the job you are applying. You can apply for an inexpensive course online and get the skill.
You can even self learn using books and YouTube, but this might take longer time because you would be looking for all the materials yourself instead of a laid out plan that would have been offered by a course.
Note: During an interview, if the interviewer mentions your lack of a particular skill. Inform them that you are already in a program learning that particular skill. If you aren’t already in truth, when you go back home, start developing that skill immediately.
You might be lucky to get the job. You don’t want to lose it in the first week because you said you a proficient in a certain skill when you aren’t.
3. Engage in Networking
When we hear the word networking, the first thing that comes to mind is meetups, social gatherings and places where you can connect with professional minded individuals like you.
While this is a good way to break into the crowd you are trying to work with, I would show you another networking style that most of us overlook even though it’s right under our noses – contacting your family and friends.
One of the fastest ways to land your dream job out of University is by using your network of family and friends.
This is How to Ask your Family For Job Search Help:
- Create your list: Make your list of family and friends that you would reach out to. Contact people you know well. They are more likely to listen to you and lend a helping hand.
- Decide how you would contact them: This best way to contact them is usually via email. You can also try to find out which platform they use most. Some people might prefer phone calls or written letters over emails.
- Make use of family gatherings: Dress nicely and responsible when turning up for family gatherings. During discussions you can chip in that you are job searching. Make sure that isn’t the only thing you bring up in conversations. You do not want to make people uncomfortable or look desperate.
- Be direct and concise: When contacting them over via email or calls, make sure that you are direct and straight to the point. After greetings, go straight to the job search. You don’t want them to stop reading before getting to the main reason you are reaching out.
- Explain what you are looking for: Do not forget to explain the kind of job you are looking for. Provide a paragraph or bulleted list of the kind of jobs you can do and some of your skills.
- Follow up: If after a month you are still looking for a job, you can send them a follow up email. Explain that you are still looking for a job and would appreciate any assistance they can offer.
- Say Thank you: When you finally get a job, whether it’s via a contact they gave or from another source, do not forget to inform them and also show appreciation.
4. Optimize your LinkedIn Network
LinkedIn is one of the most popular professional networking sites. Lots of recruiters and hiring managers makes use of this platform to find future employees.
If you can optimize your presence on LinkedIn, it can help you early on in your job search.
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Source: Leisure Jobs
Related reading: Productivity System: The Definitive Guide (2019)
5. Build Your Employer Target List
Your target list is the companies you have in mind to work for. Having this list makes your job much more easier.
A company can be in your target list because of their company culture, their mission statement. You could also be interested in working in start-ups as your first job after graduation.
Your target list serves as guideline when you are applying for jobs and also during networking.
In essence, your target list saves you time.
Take these steps to create your target list:
- Search for the best companies in your industry: You can easily make use of google search engine to find the top 100 companies in any industry. That is 100 places you can apply to. Some of these companies might be recruiting, so you can check them out. Glassdoor and Forbes also offer a list of companies in almost any industry.
- Locate your chamber of commerce: Some local chamber of commerce have job listings. You can visit them to check for any jobs available that you can apply for.
- Join professional associations: If you don’t belong to any professional association, you should join at least one. Find associations in your industry and see if they have any job listings available.
- Browse LinkedIn: Since LinkedIn is one of the best professional networking sites, it is also a good place to search for job opportunities. Join LinkedIn groups that are related to your industry and see what other people are working on.
Related reading: 10 Powerful Business Goals to Set in 2019
6. Practice for your Interviews
It is important that you prepare well for interviews. If you don’t perform well during interviews, no matter how cool your resume is, you would most likely not get the job.
Use these steps to help prepare for an interview:
- Create a list of possible questions and their answers: Research on possible interview and industry questions that you can be asked during an interview and also their answers. You can find all these questions easily on Google.
- Practice, Practice, Practice: After you have researched the questions, spend as much time as you can practicing them. Get familiar with the answers. This would definitely help you during the interview.
- Ask your family or friend to interview you: Give them the list of questions you have and ask them to interview you. After the interview, let them give you constructive feedback. This would help you know the areas you should improve on.
7. Clean Up Your Social Media Presence
Your employer is very likely to google you. Your social media presence is a representative or your personal brand and what kind of employee you would be.
Before going for an interview, google yourself. See the kind of results that would come up. If there are any results that might hurt your chances at getting the job, find a way to delete them.
8. Google your Interviewer
If you can find out who is going to interview you, you can get an edge over your competition. If you know their background, you would be able to determine how the interview might go.
If the interviewer works for a Fortune 500 company, the conversations are likely to have a formal format. If it is an interviewer that works mostly with startup, the interview might be laid back and casual. Be prepared for any outcome.
9. Prepare for a Video or Phone Call Interview
The same way you would prepare for an in-person interview, you should also prepare for a video or phone call interview.
Make sure that you are in an environment that is noiseless and without any distractions. You don’t want to annoy the interviewer with background noises such as a loud subway or a screaming child. Try to be as professional as possible.
For a video call interview, dress formally and sit at a desk. Give them the idea that you are a highly organized individual.
10. Have Realistic Expectations
One of the things that deterrs most new graduates from getting employed after graduating is having really high and unrealistic expectations.
Some would want a job that pays 100k straight out of the bag with a ton of benefits. Every job has its up and down. Don’t be too selfish when looking for a job and do not also bring down your value so much that you would essentially be a slave to the company.
Remember that progress is the most important thing. As you keep on working, you would get the necessary experience to either get promoted of even get a better job.
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While you are busy with your job search, do you know that there are other ways you can generate a side income that help you become more financial independent?
You are in luck, I have a couple of guides that you can check out to help you start earning money today. (If you work hard enough, you can start earning up to $10,000 monthly with these tips)
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