It’s grad season! With so many bright and promising young professionals getting ready to join us in “the real world,” I thought a post about the legendary first job hunt would be appropriate. Now, don’t get me wrong – I am no expert. I am still quite the young professional myself, but I have landed a few internships, one big girl job, and a handful of interviews. So, I’ve combined my grab bag of experience with some research around the web and come up with a short, succinct list of advice for grads on the hunt.
1. Quality over quantity.
It’s tempting to apply to every job you see that could potentially **maybe** fit your qualifications. I mean, the more times you throw your resume into the universe the higher the chances the universe will throw something back…right? While it is easy to think like that, you are better off taking the time to write quality cover letters and tailor your applications to the handful of companies that you really would like to work for.
2. Show personality!
Hiring managers and recruiters likely have a very short amount of time to look at your resume and cover letter. This is a great time to prove that you are more than just a name on a screen. Reference something particular to the company you’re applying for, mimic a joke they made in their job posting, or give your resume some flair that goes beyond the constraints of Word. If you get an interview, don’t feel as though you have to break out your stand-up comedy routine, but don’t be afraid to show that you are human (and thus could be enjoyable to work with).
3. Be picky.
Make sure that you aren’t the only one being interviewed. Having a full time job is a huge deal. You should be certain that wherever you are going to spend 40+ hours of your week is someplace that you can feel happy and fulfilled. Just because it’s your first offer doesn’t mean you have to take it. Breathe. Take time. Take the next step of your life seriously (and carefully).
4. Wear multiple hats.
Once you get a job, make sure you are flexible as to what that “job” entails. If you can help out another department, do so. If you are asked to do something you weren’t expecting to do, take pride in the responsibility. The workforce is fluid and you should follow suit.
5. Be confident.
You’ve done the work to get this far, and you’ll do the work to get to the next milestone. Relax, breathe deep, and be confident in your ability to find your way! Oh, and take your time! The real world isn’t going anywhere.
Any other recommendations you would give to a recent grad? Any horror or miraculous stories from your first job hunt?