Best Tips to Start Your Career
Did you just graduate from college or university? Are you making your first steps towards the career of your dreams? You must have great expectations. The world is full of opportunities, so you just need to choose the best one for your needs. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works. You’ll have to invest tons of effort to get to the position you have on your mind.
Success always requires commitment, talent, work, and persistence. Don’t be disappointed! The good news is that you can always make progress if you’re open-minded about new opportunities and you’re willing to take risks.
Experts from educational recourse Ivory Research prepared some tips and lifehacks for students, who are going to graduate college and find their first job.
Factors to Keep in Mind When Looking for an Entry-Level Job
You can’t run a company right when you get out of college. Of course, you can start your own business, but you’ll still go through the hardships of a beginner. The first thing to have in mind is that experience is necessary for progress. You’ll start with entry-level positions suitable for your education and experience. Let’s see which opportunities you should target.
Evaluate the criteria for the open position. Do you think you are under- or over-qualified? You may still apply if your common sense tells you so, but don’t expect this job to be the perfect one for you. This is the best strategy: apply only for jobs where you can use your skills and knowledge, and you are competent to meet the requirements.
Don’t take a position just because you cannot find anything else. Be open for exploring, at least during the beginning of your search.
When you locate an attractive ad, make sure to explore the company and find out more about its culture. Everything may seem perfect when the company promotes itself to new candidates, but the reality can be different. Conduct an online research and read reviews. Customers’ feedback is really important; it shows you who you would be dealing with if you accepted the position.
You Don’t Have Enough Experience? Don’t Despair!
Recent graduates commonly find themselves in an uncomfortable position. The requirements for the jobs they want are always related to experience. You have the knowledge, but you lack practice, so you have to start at a lower position and progress further. Why did you spend all those years in studying then?
No matter what you think at this point, your efforts (and finances) did not go in vain. All employers are looking into the education of potential candidates, at least when it comes to serious positions. When you have the needed knowledge, you can always obtain the practice! Experienced employees have an advantage that you can easily make up for. However, your diploma will always make you a better choice when you start climbing the ladder.
How to Land the First Job
Now that we covered the basics, you are ready for the actual tips on starting your career.
Take advantage of your connections. Maybe you don’t even need a resume!
Every person you know can introduce you to other people. Each connection opens a door to new professional opportunities. Just put yourself out there! Being shy and modest won’t take you anywhere when you’re looking for your first job. Tell everyone that you obtained a degree and you’re ready to start your professional journey.
Be active on LinkedIn and expand your network of connections. Take local opportunities into consideration as well! Not all companies have an online presence. You may discover a great chance for employment if you ask around.
Increase your chances of getting the resume noticed!
During this period of your life, you’ll send plenty of resumes to different companies. Not all of them will take you into consideration. Unfortunately, plain-old resumes are no longer considered a valid way of obtaining a job in many industries. For example, if you hold a degree in computer design, crafting a cool resume is one of the ways to showcase your skills.
Try experimenting with different forms of resumes that include a visual element. Infographics, for example, enable you to present your education and experience in a captivating form that will distinguish you from other candidates. Clearly, you have to craft this document in accordance with the standards in your industry. If the employers are conservative, then you should stick with the standard form.
The main thing to keep in mind is that the resume needs to present you as a candidate who’s different from everyone else. Do not send the same document to all employers; make sure to understand the company’s culture and show how you’ll contribute towards its improvement.
Snap out of your little hippie bubble. The way you look does matter. When you present yourself at an interview, the first thing that reveals your personality is the way you dressed. If you look like a teenager, the interviewer will assume you don’t appreciate the company’s culture.
Ask around and find out how the employees dress before you go on an interview.
Highlight your best features!
Before you proceed any further with the job hunt, you should discover what you do best. Which were your favorite courses at college? Did you master academic writing? Were you great at team work? Make a list of your best features, and make sure to promote them in your resume and cover letter.
Don’t forget to update your social media profiles; they showcase your interests in the most accessible manner. Human resource managers can easily evaluate your persona by browsing through your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram profiles. Too many selfies don’t go to your advantage! If you don’t want a potential employer to see some of your posts, make them private! However, make sure to leave a trace of your awesomeness throughout the content that’s publicly visible.
Work on your confidence!
It’s easy to get disappointed when you cannot get a job immediately upon graduation. You might start thinking you don’t have what it takes. You need to stay confident! If you want to show that you deserve to hold a particular position, you have to be the first one to believe that. When you attend an interview, lack of confidence can ruin the impression you make.
Show everyone that you’re not the typical, quiet candidate. This doesn’t mean you should be narcissistic and ask for a raise before you even get the job. However, you should stick to your standards and recognize your values. That’s the only way to start a successful career!
Joan Gilbert is a free-writer and a journalist from Atlanta. Her sphere of interests is education. Today she is working for educational resource Ivory Research.