Job hunting after college can almost certainly be stressful, especially if you’re a fresh graduate who hasn’t had to job search for some time, if ever. Not to worry, almost everyone goes through this stage at some point in their lives and I promise, we all felt how you do.
Luckily, we’ve already been there and have created a list of some important do’s and don’ts to help fresh graduates with the job hunt.
The following are the tips that you should DO when job searching:
- Research the company before submitting your application. When you job hunt, see if the company is really worth your time and think about what you can contribute to their success. This is also your first step in preparing yourself for an interview. By doing your research, you can confidently answer their questions.
- Consider if the job is actually right for you. You don’t want to waste time in your job hunting efforts. Landing in a job that doesn’t match your skills, or in a department which values and culture are just so different with yours, will only fast-track your way to quitting. You don’t want to feel undervalued or even burned out. It may be necessary to adjust, but for the most part, it is still very important that you feel like you belong there.
- Tailor your resume to fit the job you’re applying for and write a personal cover letter. A generic resume and cover letter aren’t appealing. Also, keep them brief and to the point by highlighting why you’re a good match for the role. Companies can be swamped by responses to a posted job hiring. So, your clear and direct application will more likely be appreciated by the hiring personnel.
- Play to your strengths. When you do job hunt, you can’t pretend to be good at something when you’re really not good at it. Misrepresenting skillsets may land you the role, but really, how long will you be pleased to work in a job that doesn’t suit you? You might even be given tasks you cannot handle. This will greatly affect your performance.
- Clean up your social media accounts before applying. Good employers acknowledge that you’re entitled to have a life outside of work. However, the personnel mulling over your CV may have some snap judgments about you because of what they find on your social media. Improve your LinkedIn profile, spruce up your Facebook profile and save those not-so-nice tweets for another day.
Avoid these DON’TS when job searching:
- Don’t disregard your personal networks such as family, friends and college peers. Their recommendations can help you get noticed and pass the early stage of your job hunt. If you don’t have great contacts by the time you graduate, try joining a networking event or seminars.
- Don’t discount extracurricular activities. You might think that your books collection or weekend sports are irrelevant to the job you’re after. But they can actually tell whether you’ll be a good addition to the team based on your hobbies and personality. When you job hunt, make sure to frame yourself in a way that sets the idea that you are a good fit for the role.
- Don’t make discriminatory remarks in your application and interview. This can happen especially if you’re trying to get comfortable. Even an honest attempt at some humour to build rapport is a risk that could flag you with possible co-worker conflicts, so be mindful of how your words may be misconstrued.
- Don’t immediately re-apply for the same job when you just got turned down a few weeks ago. Some employers may tell you that you can reapply after three months, but for most, they may just tell you they appreciate your interest. If you really want to be part of the company, wait for a few more months before re-applying.
Remember, every part of what you do when searching for a job – from finding job postings, creating cover letters, preparing for an interview, sending a thank you note or follow up to the content of your social media can make or break your job search. This is why it’s important to prepare and execute every step with care on your path to your dream career!
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