Hey readers, happy 2015! Can you believe it’s already January 7th? I feel like August was yesterday, and now I am a graduate of Ohio University. Strangely, that doesn’t scare me so much anymore. Yes, I am a bit bored because all of my friends are in Ohio (miss you all!), but with a new year comes my first job. I’ve been prepping for this since September, and I have plenty of tips already for those of you in the same boat, or who will be come May. Check them out below!
1. Don’t waste your time by applying months and months in advance. Internships are not the same application process as jobs are. If you are looking for advertising or PR jobs, you’re better off waiting until Thanksgiving or so to start applying. I say this because budgets start new at the beginning of the year, and companies have the money for new hires. I’ve also noticed I’m getting more responses back for the jobs I waited to apply to. If you’re graduating in May and you’ve already applied for jobs this past semester, you wasted your time.
2. Do start connecting with contacts before applying. I know an Alumni Network is a powerful one, but don’t be that annoying graduating senior who is just bugging Alumni for jobs. You may be qualified, but start talking to them before it’s really crunch time – you won’t seem like the desperate college kid trying to get a job. Also, be genuinely interested in their advice, they’ve done this before.
3. Research. I use all types of ways to find jobs – websites, social media, LinkedIn, etc. Use all of them. Make an excel sheet of the jobs you find, but never apply through anything but a contact or that company’s specific website, unless it’s your only option. Also, make sure you research the company and understand the job description before writing the cover letter and editing your resume. Recruiters hate typos, but they hate a generic cover letter and resume more.
4. Even if you’re sure that’s the job for you, keep applying. I have a third round interview coming up, I have a great feeling, however it’s best not to stop until you have an offer in your hand. You never know, after that third round interview you may not get the offer. So keep applying, and don’t give up if a rejection comes your way.
5. Don’t forget about finding the right fit. I’ve heard this from professionals many times. I’ve never been the type to settle, I tried for a week and I was miserable. If you and that company don’t mix or it’s not the job you want, pass. I know it’s hard because we are all worried about student loans and rent, but it’s like a pair of high heels – if they don’t fit right you’ll be in pain or tripping over them all night. Don’t give up, keep trying to find that perfect fit.
If you just graduated and still don’t have a job, it’s okay. Hiring will happen this month and the next, I promise! If you’re graduating in May, start doing your research now. If you’re interested in the ‘intern to hire’ type jobs, applications will be due soon. So whether you just graduated or are graduating in May, get your resume, social media and personal website ready. Job hunting season has begun!