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Let’s face it, the last thing you want to happen when you graduate college is to be a master of unemployment.
In an article by William Arruda, he shares job search skills college students need to master including how to network, creating an elevator speech, and perfecting your hand shake. While this is sound advice, your job search goes beyond the initial first impression. There are actually some job search steps you need to perfect before you can put yourself out in the world.
According to a recent Addeco survey, 31 percent of Millennials wish they had learned more about networking. Another 25 percent wish they learned how to make a good impression. If you fall into this group, you’re probably wondering how you can improve these skills.
To help you become the master of your job search, here are 10 more job search tips every college student should know.
1. Perfecting the introduction of your cover letter.
The majority of hiring managers and employers receive dozens, if not hundreds or thousands, of cover letters and resumes every day. For college students searching for internships and entry-level jobs, your cover letter needs to make a mark that employers will never forget.
The introduction of your cover letter should be unique and attention-grabbing. Begin your letter by introducing yourself and giving the employer a unique perspective of who you are and why you belong at their company.
2. Clearly defining your work ethic.
Everyone has a different type of work ethic and style. Whatever your style may be, know how to explain your work ethic to employers in an interview setting. This will help you better understand how you work and find the type of job that’s best suited for you.
Research shows 23 percent of Millennials wish they had learned more about the importance of a strong work ethic. Whether you think your work ethic is good enough to land you a job, you need to be able to explain it using examples from your life. This will give employers a better idea of what you can bring to the table.
3. Creating your own success.
Some college students like to think an internship or job will land in their laps as soon as they receive their diploma. However, this common perception is wrong. According to a CareerBuilder survey, nearly half of 2013 graduates were working a job unrelated to their major. Unfortunately, this shows you might have to work a little harder than you’d prefer to find a job that’s a good match for your skills.
If you want to land a job in your field, you’re going to have to make your own success. This means putting in the effort to network with employers, seek advice from career counselors, do research about your field, gain experience, and stay persistent. College students who are fully invested in their job search are usually the ones who create the most success.
4. Understanding what it takes to get one step further.
You’ll soon discover in your job search you’re not the only college student searching for a job. It’s going to be very competitive as you search for jobs in your field, so find unique ways to stand out against the crowd.
To differentiate yourself from other jobs seekers, focus on your personal brand and market your strongest skills and best experiences. Another great way to get ahead is to take your learning outside of the classroom. If you can commit to learning the latest trends and news about your industry, you’ll become much more knowledgeable than the competition.
5. Believing in yourself when nothing goes as planned.
You’ll experience a large amount of ups and downs during your job search. For example, your job search could be going well and then all of the sudden you don’t get called back for a second interview. Whatever happens during your job search, remember to never give up on your goals. You’re only going to get ahead if you stay focused and determined, which is why you need to believe in yourself even your job search doesn’t go as planned.
6. Turning an informational interview into a valuable connection.
Informational interviews are a great networking opportunity for college students. Not only do they receive insight and advice about their career path from a professional, but also they make a valuable connection. Informational interviews are more than just a learning experience; they can help you further your career, too.
The best way to turn an informational interview into a valuable connection is to follow up with the professional. Whether it’s through scheduling another meeting or doing a job shadow, this is a great way to keep in touch with the contact. Who knows, maybe they’ll have some industry connections down the road.
7. Following up at the right times.
Knowing when to follow up is key to a successful job search. Some college students feel they must follow up by phone call if they don’t hear anything within two or three days. However, this strategy may prove to be inefficient.
If you want to make a good impression with an employer, understand the best times to follow up. A good rule of thumb to follow is to contact the employer seven to 10 days after you submitted an application. The same goes for an interview, too. If you just had an interview and the hiring manager gave you a date they’d be in touch with you, don’t follow up until a week past the given date. Feel free to follow up two or three times, just be courteous in your efforts and remember to wait at least seven to 10 days between each follow up email.
8. Not being afraid to do something extraordinary.
This is your career and you deserve to have complete control over it. If there’s a dream you want to go after, you need to chase it. Learn how to push yourself out of your comfort zone and set goals that will help you reach your dreams. This is a great way for you to get closer to a job you love and fulfilling your passions.
9. Sharing what makes you unique.
Every person has their own talent, experience, and skills to share. If there’s something about you that makes you unique, don’t hesitate to share it with employers (within reason). For example, if you’re a communications student who has a passion for designing websites in your free time, this is a hobby you might want to share with employers. Who knows, you might be able to put your hobby to use when you land an internship or job.
10. Grasping your immediate career goals.
Some college students tend to get caught up in thinking long-term. Especially when you have to worry about paying off your student loans and transitioning into adulthood, it’ll be tempting to get caught up in the future. Although it’s good to have a five-year plan, you can’t forget about what you need to accomplish today and tomorrow. If there’s an obstacle you need to overcome in your job search, then you need to create a goal now to face it.
For example, if you haven’t had the chance to perfect your cover letter and resume, then make it a goal to get them in tip top shape. There’s no point in waiting to accomplish your immediate career goals if you can do it today. You just have to motivate yourself to stay on top of what you need to do in order to be successful in your job search.
There are endless pieces of career advice for college students, and not every piece will work for you. However, if you implement some of these tips in your job search, you’ll be the master of your job search in no time at all.
What job search tips do you think college students understand?
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