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Don’t Get Left Behind! 15 Tips For Landing Your Dream Job After College

If you’ve just navigated the trying task of obtaining a college degree, then you might think that the least the world can do is provide you with a good job. Alas, it doesn’t quite work that way: there’s around 10% of graduates who are unemployed, and closer to 20% of graduates who unemployed; that is, they have a job, but it’s not one that required a college degree. Then there’s the matter of finding the job that’s right for you. If you look hard enough, you can gain employment: the tricky part comes when you try to get a job you really want. Below, we offer fifteen essential tips for landing your dream job after college. Do these, add a bit of grit, determination, and patience, and you’ll be on your way to getting the job of your dreams.

Look in the Right Places

First thing’s first: you need to be looking in the right places. Graduate jobs aren’t just lumped up with the other thousands of jobs listed on the usual job sites. Even if they are, you’ll have to wade through too many posts that are aimed at people of all abilities before you can find them. It’s recommended that you keep an eye on Indeed and CareerBuilder, but the bulk of your energy should be spent combing through those graduate websites, such as NACElink and Experience.com.

And Don’t Just Look: Investigate

While we’re talking about looking for jobs, there’s an industry secret that we think you should know: the vast majority of positions aren’t officially advertised. In fact, it’s possible that only around 20% of jobs actually make it to websites; the rest are filled through word of mouth, referrals, and people taking a chance and offering their services. If there’s a company you really want to work for, look beyond the ‘available positions’ section of their website; get in touch directly. They might just have a position available that nobody else knows about.

Foot in the Door

Not everybody thinks that taking an internship is a good idea, but if you’re struggling to find a job to your choosing, then it offers you an opportunity to get your foot in the door, gain experience, and make yourself more employable. Competition for internships at the biggest companies can be fierce, so go after them with the same determination as you would a real job. If you excel during your internship, you might just be offered a job at the end – some 70% of big companies offered their interns a position. Aside from potentially securing you a job, an internship also allows you to try out an industry or position before you commit to it full-time.

Networking

Remember above, when we said that the vast majority of jobs aren’t listed on official job boards? It might be your networking abilities that uncover these secret positions. Alas, many people have a shaky understanding of what exactly networking involves. It’s not about schmoozing up to someone at a corporate event and handing over your business card as you make the “call me” gesture. Why would they call? Networking is about building mutually beneficial relationships. If you find someone that you would like to connect with, make yourself useful to them in one way or another. You’ll have established a connection that one day might open up paths that lead to a job.

Self-Starting “Internship”

You don’t always have to wait for a company to give you a chance to shine. You can help yourself, providing your career choice lends itself well to individual endeavors. For example, let’s say you want to be a social media executive. Well, it takes nothing but a social media account to start getting experience in that field. By the time you come to applying for jobs, you’ll have something to show that says you are serious about entering that area. It’s like writing: if you want to be a journalist, don’t wait for the New York Times to call you (they won’t); just begin writing on your own blog!

Leverage Your College Relationships

If the industry you want to work in is directly related to your college degree, then you probably already have plenty of contacts to help you find a job in that field. Your college professors – and to a lesser degree, your classmates – are already working in that industry, so make the most of any connections, opportunities, or ideas they have. If you’re studying biology and want to become a scientist, then speak to your professors: they might know of an academic at another institution who is working on a problem that you have shown an interest in. It’s these types of connections you have to exhaust, especially if you want to work in a competitive field.

Hire a Resume Coach

You’ll be well trained in the important things you need to get a job, but you’ll be sorely lacking in the ‘how to get a job’ department. That’s a skill set all on its own. Because you have little experience, you need to make the skills that employers are looking for jumps off your resume page. Companies want people who can work as part of a team, think critically, and work hard. You’ll have all these skills in your locker, but showcasing them to a potential employer might be a challenge. Work with a resume coach, either online or through your college, to ensure you’re listing all your skills on your resume.

Top Up Your Education

It might be that your college degree, while a solid base, is not enough on its own to get you the job you want. If this is the case, then top up your degree by completing a postgraduate study online course and give yourself an edge over your fellow graduates. Postgraduate education is more precise than an undergraduate degree and is an excellent way to show employers that you have a greater understanding of the skills needed for a role. It can also be a way to “sidestep” your education: if you have a degree in Ancient Studies but want to enter the marketing industry, you’ll be able to use the skills you acquired during your degree to obtain a postgraduate qualification in marketing, for example.

Know When To Say No

An important step in landing your dream job is knowing when to say no to other offers. If you’re offered a job but it doesn’t feel right, or you don’t think it’ll lead anyway, then reject it, if you can afford to do so. Finding the job that’s right for you is as much about saying no to opportunities as it is to saying yes! You should try your best to reject those feelings of panic that can set in when you’re beginning to doubt your ability to get a job. Settling for a job that doesn’t feel right will not lead to your dream job.

Quality, Not Quantity

And talking of panicking: make sure you’re applying to the kind of jobs that you actually want. It’s all too easy to fire off application after application, but it’s a flawed approach. You won’t be sending out fifty applications: you’ll be sending out fifty half applications. The best jobs require concentration and effort. Only apply for jobs that you truly want, and make sure you’re spending hours getting it just right.  

Step Outside the Comfort Zone

You might dream of ultimately working for Google, but it’s unlikely that you’ll bag one of their highly competitive graduate jobs. Instead, plot a longer path, one that will take you on an exciting career path and may one day result in you landing your dream position. Also, be willing to step outside of your comfort zone if a good opportunity presents itself. You’ll be better served by joining a smaller company located in a smaller city and working your way up, rather than trying to find a job in your hometown or going straight for the best paying, most glamorous jobs.

Play Around With Jobs

Conventional wisdom has it that when you find a job you like, in a company you enjoy for you, that you should stick in that position. But there’s a big difference between a job you like a job you love. There’s a school of thought that says that job hopping is the version of climbing the ladder. You can spend six months at one company, excel, learn everything you can, and then jump ship to a slightly different role at another company, repeating the same process. In a few years, you’ll have an enviable resume. The only thing that will be lacking will be ‘commitment,’ but then, the biggest companies will know once you get a job with them, there’s nowhere higher to climb.

Conclusion

The job market is the most competitive it’s ever been, but there are also more resources than ever before to help you along the way, too. Take your time, be patient, and you’ll eventually find yourself in the job of your dreams. Best of luck!

Ten Factors That Will Help You Get Into Your Ideal Career

Getting into your ideal career isn’t the easiest thing in the world – even though a lot of people want to find that ideal job in publishing or technology, it isn’t always easy to actually find. Here are a few tips that will help you along the way…

Make Lists About What You Want From Your Career

First of all, make sure that you know what you actually want from your future job. Not everyone will want to work in an office, or have a long commute, or work alone all day, so it’s important to think about the circumstances of your job rather than just having grand aspirations to become a world class lawyer – think about the work/life balance that you want from your career as well. Remember that it’s okay to prioritise your relationship or family over your career – so long as you’re financially solvent you need to focus on what will make you happiest.

Write Your CV

Your CV or resume is something that you will send out to pretty much every job when you apply for it – although there may be a line on the top that you’ll change for each position to make the whole document more relevant. Remember to include your career aims, your skills, your academic prowess, and your employment history. Look online for specifics, like examples of successful accountancy resumes or resume tips for IT jobs. The CV or resume should be no longer than two sides of A4 – and if you’re beginning your career, you need to be careful that you don’t talk too much about things that are irrelevant. Employers won’t care about the weekend you spent selling lemonade when you were eleven!

Keep Developing Your Skills

No matter how good you are at something, it’s important to keep developing your skills – go to workshops and conferences and keep researching. Read magazines about the book trade or technology or whatever industry that you’d ideally like to go into. Knowing about the state of the industry and being sincerely interested in it is just as important as being able to do the actual job. The world moves very quickly, particularly when it comes to tech, so it’s important to make sure that you’re up to date on the latest trends.

Leave The Past In The Past

It’s time to move on from the past – even if you were a star athlete in high school or too nerdy to make any friends, it’s time to leave that behind and turn over a clean slate. Remember that employers are looking at who you are and the potential of who you might be, and not the person you were, so don’t let that overshadow you, whether it’s with misplaced with arrogance or a chronic lack of confidence.

Stay Curious

Make sure that you stay interested in the world around you – keep reading articles and newspapers and magazines and talking to people. Having passions and curiosities is one of the greatest things that you can ever discover in another person, and people who may hire you will think it’s great if you have a passion for something. Even if you want to be an accountant, years of cosplaying and making your own costumes will show skill and dedication, which are extremely attractive traits to employers.

Develop Your Interview Skills

It’s important to make sure that you have strong interview skills. Remember that to reach interview stage, you must be doing something right – and the interview is generally to ensure that you’ll be a good fit at the company. Remember to relax as much as you possibly can, listen to the questions you’re being asked carefully, and know that honesty is always the best policy – it’s okay to ask them to repeat questions if you can feel yourself going off track or to say that you don’t know the answer to something. Nobody is perfect and there’s always time to develop yourself.

Use The Internet

Remember to use the internet to look for jobs and opportunities, whether that’s workshops you can attend, people in your chosen industry that you can say hi to on social media, or job websites that you can browse as often as you want while you’re deciding what to apply for. There’s a wealth of information at your fingertips – remember that you can also use the internet to work freelance if you want to. That means you can make some money without having to pay rent in a big city or commuting costs. If you’re a writer, designer or tech whizz then freelance working may be a great solution for you.

Learn How To Network And Make Connections

Not everyone is naturally good at networking but it’s an important skill to develop. Talk to the people sitting around you at events – they’ll also be interested in you and it’s always a good idea to swap cards even if you might not have anything in common just yet. Remember to be open and friendly, to ask questions, and to sincerely listen to the answers.

Be Careful Online

A lot of us use social media to keep in contact with friends and follow our favourite celebrities – and if you do that then it’s great! You’re one step closer to a career in social media. But it’s important to make sure that on your personal social media accounts, you stay positive. Don’t be rude to anyone, don’t use bad language, and don’t say anything that you wouldn’t want a future employer to find out about. A lot of companies will look you up online before they interview you, and if they don’t like what they see, you won’t set foot through their front door.

Be Assertive

Finally, it’s important to be assertive. Having belief in yourself is key to success – and if you don’t ask for what you want, you won’t get it. No one gets handed anything easily in this world: you need to develop your skills, get smarter, get more informed, and take any opportunity that you possibly can. Knowing what you want and how to get it is one of the most valuable skills you’ll ever have.

The Job is Yours – Develop & Hone Your Skills

career-paperAt a young age, you still need to give some thought to the sort of career you want in the future. There are many things you can do to develop skills and craft that will help you secure the job you want. Making yourself a more employable prospect is essential for ensuring that you get better opportunities. So, use the ideas on this list to make sure you hone your skills and become a much better and more popular prospect.

Take Courses

You have to make sure you train yourself and get the right qualifications for the role you want. If you want to separate yourself from the competition, you need to make sure you are fully qualified. The goal is to make yourself a more attractive prospect for potential employers. And the way to achieve that is to get training and qualifications so you can go to them with quality and experience for the job at hand. So, consider what you want to get out of your career, and the sort of experience you need. Things like injection molding training or construction training are important. They give you the necessary skills to progress in your career.

Consider an Apprenticeship

One of the best ways to develop career and business skills is to make sure you consider an apprenticeship. These are often available in manual and labor professions. They present the perfect opportunity for you to learn the ropes and become knowledgeable in a certain profession. Then at the end of the apprenticeship, you can expect to secure full-time employment. This is something you definitely need to consider as much as you can. An apprenticeship offers you the chance to enter the working world and learn from professionals as you go. There’s a reason so many people gravitate towards apprenticeships

Use Opportunities You Get

There are going to be a lot of opportunities open to you, even if you’re still in education. Even if you are still studying or learning, there’s no reason you can’t take advantage of work opportunities that are available. Work experience or part-time jobs can play a hugely important role in the process of gaining employment experience. These opportunities will give you the chance to understand how the process works. Then you can see whether a job is exactly what you thought it would be, and decide if it’s for you. Work experience is really great for making sure you develop contacts and relationships for after you leave education. You have to take advantage of any and all employment opportunities that come your way. This is the best way of developing your skills and business acumen.

It doesn’t matter how old you are; it’s always good to think about the job you want. There are so many career paths out there that are important and appealing. And you need to think about the best job for you, and how you can secure that job. If you can develop and hone your skills, you will be much better placed to secure the career of your dreams.

Surprising Things You Should Be Doing Now To Ensure You Get A Great Job After College

handshakeIt’s hard enough to gain admission into an excellent college. But when you leave college, the fun really starts. After all, it can be hard to beat off all the other competition to gain yourself a great job. However, if you want to prove you will be a great employee, there are some things you should be doing now. Therefore, here are some surprising things you should be doing now to ensure you get a great job after college.

Complete some work experience

A lot of the time, people get declined for jobs as they don’t have work experience. They might have top grades, but employers want someone who has made an effort to get some experience under their belt. Therefore, while you are off college for the holidays, you should arrange some work experience. Ask your teacher if they know of any companies who are looking for students. Or look online at businesses in your chosen industry. Companies tend to jump on the change to have a keen and talented student working for them for a week. And once you have finished college, you can add the work experience to your resume to ensure you stand out from other students applying for roles.

Take on a job during the summer

It’s hard to think about getting a job when you are busy with college. But future employers will be more interested if you have done work during your course. After all, it shows you have good time management skills and are willing to work hard. It also shows you are trying to support yourself during your course. The summer months are a good opportunity to take on a role. Look online for great jobs that fit your current skills. For example, here is where to find admin job vacancies. You might discover new skills which you can use once you get a job after college.

Sign up for extra activities

When you finish college and go to fill in application forms, you will notice a section for additional activities. And if you have to leave this blank, someone else who did loads at college might beat you to the role. Therefore, sign up for some extra activities while you are at college. For example, you might want to join a sports group. It will help you to get fit while working in a team. Or you could even show some great leadership skills by starting your own group. It can be anything you are a passionate about, and is an excellent way to meet new people!

Start a portfolio

It’s so important that you start collecting all your work while you are at college, and placing it in a portfolio. After all, this is what you can take to future employers to show them your best work. Even if it doesn’t say you need to take college work to an interview, it can help you score the job if you do! And remember it can be online instead; that way, you can just link it in an email for your potential employer to see.

And don’t forget to have a great social life while you are at college. It can do wonders for your confidence which will help you to gain jobs in the future!