May is the height of graduation season. And between high school and college, the job search market will be saturated with plenty of newly minted graduates.
If you’re one of them, you might be worried about how to conduct an effective job search that lands you the right role as quickly as possible. We’ve got your back! Here are 10 tips to help new grads in their job search:
01. Use School Resources
Your school often has a career office that you can (and should) take advantage of before you graduate. It’s also a resource you can use long after you graduate too!
Many school career centers have counselors that can help you figure out what you want to do and what you have to do to achieve that goal. These offices also organize job fairs and are often in touch with recruiting programs at companies.
02. Utilize Both Old & New Techniques
Just like the job market changes, so do job searches. For example, an old-school way of searching for a job was checking the want ads in the Sunday paper. The new-school version of that is online job boards.
Blending old and new ways of searching for a job can give you an edge. For example, networking is still a tried-and-true method of tapping the hidden job market and connecting with others who can help you find a new role. And while a lot of networking takes place online these days (hello, LinkedIn!), in-person networking events still play a crucial role in growing your network.
03. Tailor Your Applications
One job search tip that never goes out of style is tailoring your application to the specifics of every job you apply to. While creating a customized resume and cover letter takes more time, it’s also more likely to land you an interview. Employers can tell when you’ve sent a generic resume and cover letter that simply fills in the blanks.
Read through the job posting and pull out the keywords from the job description. Incorporate those into your application to get past the applicant tracking system (ATS) and demonstrate that you’re a good culture fit.
Make sure you follow all the instructions too. If the employer wants a PDF version of your resume, upload that. If they want you to mention your favorite dessert in your cover letter, talk up your love of banana cream pie!
04. Go Offline
While it’s essential to create a strong brand online (like with a personal website, a well-optimized LinkedIn profile, and a stellar social media presence), it’s equally important to step away from the screen during your job search.
Consider volunteering to help grow your network and learn new skills. Or, do some job shadowing or even an internship to discover what your intended job and career field are really like.
05. Research Everything
Though you may be done with school, you’ve still got some homework to do!
The early part of your job search should include researching the companies you want to work for, the job titles you’re interested in, and salary ranges. This background information will help guide your job search from start to finish.
Start with companies you think you want to work for. Learn more about its culture, the types of roles they hire for, and even how often they hire. This can help you determine if the company’s goals and values align with yours, making it more likely you’ll be happy and engaged with the job.
Also, do a deep dive into the specifics of the roles you’re interested in. Do you have the right experience and education? Do you need to take a certification class to improve your application? Then, learn more about the salary range for the job title to help you make a successful and compelling case when you negotiate the offer.
06. Consider Informational Interviews
Informational interviews are a great way to learn more about the career path and industry you want to pursue. Meet with professionals in your field and ask about their career paths. Find out how they started and what they did to get to where they are today. Ask what advice they have for someone starting out and what the future might look like.
It’s a great way for you to learn the inside information about the industry and career path, along with specific companies, from someone who knows what they’re talking about!
07. Continue Learning
Since the average job search takes three to six months, continue learning and growing professionally, even if you’re not employed. This helps strengthen and expand your skill set, making you a more desirable candidate. What’s more, it demonstrates your commitment to continuous learning and your willingness to tackle new challenges.
And if you’re involved in professional activities while you job search, you might meet someone or learn something that can land you a job!
08. Make a Job Search Plan
A job search plan can help make your job search more effective and efficient. Set up a schedule for each activity, then block out time to devote to it. For example, you may want to spend a few hours creating your resume and cover letter templates to make it easier for you to customize them when you apply. Then, take some time to clean up your social media profiles before using them as part of your job search.
This schedule helps keep you on track and measures your progress toward your ultimate goal of landing a new job. And it keeps you accountable, so at the end of the week, you can look back at all you’ve accomplished instead of being unsure where you stand in your job search.
09. Create Job Alerts
One way to stay on top of your job search is by creating job alerts. When you get a notification that a new job matching your search criteria is open, you can check it out and decide if it’s something you want to pursue or skip. These alerts can help you step away from the screen and engage in other activities without missing a job search beat.
10. Keep an Open Mind
You may have a dream company or dream job that you want, and that’s what drives you forward. However, you need to keep your options open throughout your job search in case things don’t work out as planned.
The advantage to this is when you expand your job search, you’re opening yourself up to a wide range of possibilities. You can land a job in a field you never knew you could work in, which could lead you to career opportunities you never knew were possible. And who knows? Following a different path could lead you right back to your dream company somewhere down the line.
Getting a job after graduating is a big life step – one you’ve been working toward for a long time! Following these tips can help make your search a little easier and faster, helping you connect with your first big job!
Source: Rachel Pelta, FlexJobs
Bonus Tip: Contact RCS Corporation! Whether you are looking for a short-term or long-term position, we can help open many doors for you. Our close relationships with best-of-class companies across the U.S. allows us to to get you in front of the right people for the right position.
RCS works with companies across a variety of industries and job roles. From entry-level to C-suite positions, we can get you the job that you’re seeking and that you deserve. Visit rcs.jobs/search to view a current list of available jobs and reach out to learn more.