Most students start their studies with one particular position they’d like to get once they graduate. Not everyone manages to get there, and while it might be because openings are limited or there’s too much competition, many students end up not getting their dream job because of mistakes they made. If you are getting ready to graduate, you must do everything right if you want to get that position. Here are a few tips for getting the job of your dreams right after college.
Start as Soon as Possible
The first thing you have to do is start the process of getting that job as soon as possible. Don’t worry about your experience right now. At this moment, you want to concentrate on your skills first and foremost. There are also things that you could do while you’re studying that will help you become a better candidate.
You can start working on side projects, for instance, or even get additional qualifications. Joining clubs that are related to the job and being active can also be a great move. These are all things that could help show employers that it’s a true passion for you and not just a job. You’ll also get valuable expertise that could help you stand apart from other employees once you do start, which could open you up for even better positions than the one you applied for.
Have Multiple Dream Jobs
The second thing we would suggest is that you don’t have your heart set out on one option only. Disappointment is one of the toughest things you can deal with when looking for a job. Not being able to get that position with the one or two companies you applied with can add pressure on your shoulders that will be too much to bear.
So, look at other similar positions and have a plan B, C, and D in case you don’t get that coveted position. Know that you will at least get the chance to gain experience, which could make you a much more viable candidate later on.
Instead of just looking at a job or a company, look at the attributes of that dream job and where you could find those. Maybe you like a company’s culture, for instance, or the type of environment you’ll be working in. If you can find a position that gives you those without the exact role you were searching for, they could be a good option.
Never look down on starting from a lower position. You never know what you’ll be able to learn there that could increase your chances of getting that dream job. You should also look at yourself and see what motivates you.
Look at your core values and aspirations then find a company that matches those. Again, it might not be the best position, or it might not even be related to your major, but you’ll still get fulfillment and be able to add a few lines to your resume. This brings us to our next point.
Know How to Write a Resume
This is basic advice, but it’s surprising to see how many graduates still don’t understand what makes for a good or bad resume. First, know that there isn’t just one type of resume that you can pick from, and different formats may work better depending on the field and how much (or little) experience you have.
For instance, a functional resume that focuses mainly on your skills and not your accomplishments could be better than a traditional resume if you don’t have a long employment history. You can also use a combination resume if you want to showcase both your skills and employment history. So, we suggest you look at all of these options and don’t hesitate to hire a professional if you’re struggling with that part.
The Importance of the Cover Letter
Many students also don’t know how to create a good cover letter, or simply fail to add one with their resume. The cover letter is the only way for the employer to get a true sense of your personality, enthusiasm, and expectations.
If you try to apply for a job online or look at a listing and they say that a cover letter is optional, you should still attach one. Employers will notice this and see that you were ready to put the extra effort in. That could be what ends up separating you from other candidates.
Dress the Part
Dressing appropriately for a job interview is also something you should do. But not everyone knows what that actually means.
Here, you will need to pay special attention to the company’s culture. Some companies will prefer to see a candidate dressed formally, while others will be laxer. One thing you should do is check out the company’s website. Look at how the employees and members of management are dressed. Then imagine how you would dress if you worked for that company. That is the type of outfit you should be looking for.
Do Your Research on the Company
There’s nothing employers appreciate more than an employee that took the time to do their research. By making it clear you know everything there is to know about a company, you’re showing your motivation and why they should pick you over the next person. It will also show them that they won’t have to spend as much time working on onboarding with you.
You don’t want to research the company solely so you can tell the interviewers what they want to hear, however. There will be times when they will have specific questions about a process and showing that you know a company’s specific processes will be impressive to recruiters. There are also cases when they will ask you directly what you know about the company. Draw a blank there and it’s pretty much a wrap for you.
Don’t Sell Yourself Short
While you may have always dreamed of a position, it doesn’t mean that you should accept less than what you’re worth. You will need to use your negotiation skills so you can get the salary and benefits you deserve. If you want to know what is reasonable to expect, you should check out other comparable positions and see how much they’re paying. You will have to be able to demonstrate your worth while still being respectable and professional, and coming with data will help you do that.
Use Your Network
We’d like to think that getting a job is about your expertise and how much better you are than other candidates, but, in reality, the majority of jobs are acquired through connections. One study found that an astounding 85% of all jobs are filled through connections. This is why networking should be a priority while you’re studying and after you’ve graduated.
Clean Up Your Online Presence
If you have questionable material over the internet, you should get rid of it as soon as possible. It doesn’t have to be questionable views either. Anything that would show you as a liability could be bad for you.
Images of you partying, for instance, even if they seem inoffensive, could end up hurting your chances. Companies are very sensitive about who they hire and the backlash they could face by hiring someone with a questionable past, so do everything you can to track what you have online already and clean your online image.
Don’t Fall for the Hype
Sometimes, people confuse a dream job with a dream company. But that dream could be a mirage, and you should never fall for the public image a company is trying to show. You don’t know how people who work in these companies feel, and if the company is consistent with their claims.
You might be attracted to a company thinking that you would work in a certain atmosphere or get things like more flexibility. In reality, the company, and your job may end up feeling impersonal. If you want to get a job mainly because of the atmosphere, then you have to dig a bit deeper and make sure that the position at that company is something you actually want.
Visiting a site like Glassdoor should give you a good idea of what it’s really like working with an employer. You should also run a Google search for complaints former employees had about companies. Visiting a business’s Facebook page could also give you a better glimpse into the company’s way of doing things.
Getting the job of your dreams is not guaranteed, but if you put your best foot forward, you’ll be able to significantly improve your chances. Follow these few tips and do everything you can to become the most attractive candidate possible.
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