6 Job Search Tips For New Graduate Students
Sometimes, universities and colleges do not prepare graduate students for the hands-on, practical, job-specific qualities that are required of you upon graduating. Businesses will be looking for proof that you have what it takes to learn quickly, be efficient, and most importantly, reel in the dollars. Therefore, it is helpful if you brainstorm experiences you have had in the past 4+ years that can be used to your advantage when it comes to polishing up your resume and to use during an interview.
Take some time to write out 10 accomplishments that you are particularly proud of (i.e. you were a volunteer, you were recommended by your professors to tutor students, you helped the company you worked for save money on a job, etc.). It can be anything you were given praise for or you feel made a difference. You will be surprised with what you can come up with – maybe there were scenarios/instances you had forgotten about!
2. Get involved in any way, shape or form
Now would be a good time to get involved if you haven’t already done so. Even helping out at your schools food bank can go a long way during an interview or on your resume, as recruiters are often looking for diverse, extra-curricular assets that makes graduate students and candidates stand out.
Also, think about every award, study group, or volunteer position you have obtained in the past. Since they might seem like centuries ago, they can be easily forgotten. If you are lacking the work experience, these examples can be highlighted in a section titled “Relevant Experience,” regardless if they were paid or not. See an example here. This is a great way to highlight unpaid jobs/tasks that would traditionally be categorized under “Volunteer Experience” – a category a recruiter might not get to.
3. Be proactive
Check with your university or college Career Center as they may have free resources for you to take advantage of. For instance, you may want a career counselor to review your resume, assist you with personalizing your resume to fit a job posting, interview preparation, cover letter support and so on.
4. Consider all of the options
Take this time to reflect on what it is you really want. Be clear with what you are looking to get out of your career and be as specific as possible. What atmosphere do you want to work in? How much money do you want to make? What kinds of people do you want to work with?
A lot of times, graduate students end up working in jobs they are unhappy with because they are unsure of what they want or what they deserve. Setting these clear expectations now can set the grounds for success and happiness. You may also want to consider going back to school to do a post-graduate program, or start doing some freelance work. Anyone can do it, and any money is better than no money!
5. Build a strong online presence
Let’s be honest – social media is taking over and who knows, maybe traditional resumes will someday be obsolete. LinkedIn, for example, is a fabulous professional networking website that allows employees and employers to connect virtually for various reasons. Job postings are now posted through LinkedIn, which offers an easy application process, completed right through your profile. You can follow business and groups to stay up-to-date with top stories. Creating a LinkedIn profile is quick, easy and free and will allow for easier communication with potential employers.
6. Don’t lose hope
The most important thing to remember is to remain positive and do not give up. The best thing you can do is believe that something special is coming to you. You just haven’t found it yet. Practice meditation or visualization to help you see your goal. Remember, “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” – Napoleon Hill
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