Less than 20 percent of last year’s college graduates had a job lined up in the months leading up to their graduation, according to a poll from Accenture.
The good news is, experts say 2015 graduates will face one of the most favorable job markets in years, with a 16 percent increase in the percent of new graduates being hired.
If you want to jump straight into the workforce after throwing your mortarboard in the air, then be sure to follow these 5 tips for nailing a job after graduation.
1. Start While Still In School
Most graduates spend their last semester at college goofing off, drinking and enjoying their last moments of freedom before heading into the real world. But those who want to land a job right away would be wise to use the on-campus resources available to them including: the career services center, career counselors, resume building workshops and alumni connections.
2. Do Your Homework
Want a great job? Then you better be prepared to do your homework. Start researching the companies you’d love to work for. Check out the Best Companies lists on sites like GlassDoor, Fast Company and Outside Magazine. Stalk their websites and their career pages. When you are ready to apply, tailor your cover letter specifically to their values and mission.
3. Get Connected
You know the saying “it’s all who you know,” that phrase is especially true when it comes to job hunting. Having a friend, family member or professor recommend you is one of the best ways to get your foot in the door. Don’t think you know anyone? Leverage your LinkedIn network and start seeing who you are connected as well as who your connections are connected to.
4. Lower Your Expectations
Your first job out of college most likely won’t be your dream job. Unlike our parents and grandparents, graduates heading into the job force today are likely to have 15 to 20 jobs over their lifetime. Your first job will help you explore your field and discover how to eventually make your dream job a reality. So don’t worry too much about your first job, you likely won’t be there that long anyway.
5. Practice Your Interviewing Skills
What your piano teacher once told you is still true. Practice makes perfect, especially when it comes to the job interview. Practice your answers (out loud) to common interview questions, especially the dreaded “tell me about yourself”. In particular, practice short, concise answers that are personalized to the company you are interviewing for.
Good luck job hunter!
Photo credit: photologue_np