It’s time to roll up your sleeves and put that lifetime of education to work for you. Finding the right job isn’t easy – it takes motivation to go after the industry or company you want, effort to ace the application and interview process and a bit of luck to land the job. Read on for tips, advice and tools that will help ensure a successful search.
Head-hunters and employment services can also be a good source of job leads. One of the major benefits of working with placement agencies is that they already have established relationships within the industries, they service and know exactly who to put you in front of. The downside is that some may charge you a fee for their services or require a percentage of your pay from the company who has hired you.
Networking has become a buzzword in professional circles – and for good reason. Many of the best jobs out there are never advertised. The key to landing them is a lucky combination of being in the right place at the right time and talking to the right person. Don’t be afraid to go to social events and advertise yourself or talk about your goals. Or share your plans with friends and family. You’ll be surprised how supportive people can be. After all, everyone has been there at one time or another. If they can’t immediately connect you with a job, they can often provide valuable advice on where to look and who the best contacts might be.
Know What You’re Looking For
Think about the big picture and not just the job you want now. Beyond earning a salary, what skills and experiences do you want to take away from your new job? Look to the next step of your career and think about which job will get you closer to that goal. Also, look at the associated benefits. A high-paying job with no benefits may not be as advantageous as a lower-paying position with a complete benefits package.
Consider cost of living and your expenses before you relocate for a job. Every city is different, so a starting salary in one area may not be enough to support you in a new location. Moving costs are another factor to take into consideration. If your prospective employer isn’t going to pay your moving costs, make sure the salary will make up for these costs in the long run, or that you have additional funds to cover the expenses.
Landing a Job
It may sound silly but the only way to find a job is to look for one. Some experts actually recommend you start looking six to nine months ahead of time. In fact, finding work can be almost as time consuming as a full-time position. Constantly keep your eyes open for new opportunities and keep up on networking to build your list of contacts. Even if you choose not to work immediately after graduation, it’s good to have the opportunity if you change your mind.
Have a well-written resumé that focuses on the skills and experience related to the specific position. If you lack work history, you can always include your education and other applicable experience along with any awards you have received that are suitable to the job. As you continue down your career path, remember to update your resumé with your most current and relevant work experience.
Use action words and other phrases to better illustrate your experiences. “Managed all inventory,” sounds more active than “in charge of all inventory.” Also, keep in mind that employers receive many resumés, so make sure yours stands out with smart content or an interesting design. Employers are also incredibly busy. When writing your resumé, try to be concise without making things sound like a laundry list. They would much rather read one well-written sentence than four describing the same thing.
Appearance is important. In addition to ensuring your resumé is well-thought out and organised, make sure it is pleasing to the eye. This will give potential employers the impression that you have strong organisational skills and attention to detail.
Preparation is key to a successful interview. Research the company as well as you can and learn about what it does and how it does it. During the interview, be sure to ask questions about the company and share the things you’ve been looking into. Also, take your knowledge of the company and determine how you fit in, then discuss how your skills could help the company.
Research standard questions interviewers generally ask and prepare answers to them. What is your biggest weakness? Where do you see yourself in five years? They may be clichéd, but employers ask them for a reason. There will also be questions you won’t expect so pay attention.
Don’t let the unexpected throw you off and disrupt the interview. Coming into an interview prepared not only to answer questions, but also to ask them shows two very important qualities every employer is looking for – a genuine interest in the company and self-confidence.