Food Network and HGTV being pulled off the air temporarily: That was scary. What’s even scarier? My diploma application being due. That means that no longer will I just have to worry about buying textbooks, pulling all-nighters before a major exam, or trying to stay awake in 8am psychology classes. Next month I am graduating, and as exciting as it seems, I then have to worry about getting a job.
Job searching is almost as fun as pulling your teeth out one by one minus the Novocain. When there is “nothing out there”, it’s quite discouraging. However, when you do find something that catches your eye, it gets the attention of the other million users on Career Builder or Hotjobs. Not to mention, a good half of these applicants have multiple years in the business and resumes that go on for miles. How do you possibly complete with the Donald Trumps of the applicant pool? How do you stand out among everyone else? Finally, how do you land that dream job?
- Don’t lie!
If you learn nothing else in your quest for the “j-word,” at least remember not to lie. On your resume that is! One of the worst things an applicant can do is exaggerate and falsify information on a resume. What are you going to say when the recruiter asks you, “So, you have ended world hunger I see?” On a serious note though, many companies search resumes for keywords, statements, or qualifications. If you list skills that don’t really apply to you, then who are you really helping? I have learned to just be honest, and remember that everyone fits in somewhere, and your resume may just be the next one to turn up in a company’s resume search.
- Internships: Your sneaky way in.
Virtually every company has some sort of undergraduate or graduate internship program designed to give students, without much experience in the industry, a chance to get their feet wet. Many companies participate in University Recruitment, where they will even come to your college/university to seek out applicants. All in all, internships serve as great experience and excellent resume boosters. (Hint: Many companies extend full-time or part time positions to previous interns, just a thought.
- NETWORK, NETWORK, NETWORK!
Your goal is to make yourself known by people in the industry and, if you play your cards right, these people may just come to you with positions and openings in their companies. You can start on social networking sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. I developed a profile on all of these, and you’d be amazed to see the type of people you can come across and the possible leads you can find. Also, simply just ask around. The other night I was out with some friends and we began talking to another group of people sitting near us. By the end of the night, I walked out of the restaurant with a few business cards. Can you say, “Connections?” In all honestly though, I had the opportunity to get real advice from people that have been in my shoes and have made it out alive!
So those are my life lessons in a nutshell for how to not end up short in the war for talent. Yet, above all, I feel the best advice I have been given, is just to be you. The “real world” is not as scary as some people make it out to be, and if you just be patient the right opportunity will come your way. In the meantime though, I have a diploma application to fill out!