4 Job Search Tips Every New Graduate Needs to Hear
Entering the workforce fresh out of college seems like a daunting task to most new graduates. The daily grind of filling out multiple applications only to have most, if not all, go ignored is something most new graduates know all too well. Whether it be the “not enough experience” excuse we have all heard many times first starting out or something more complicated, the end result is the same.
If you are like me, this process can leave you feeling discouraged and unmotivated. The question remains: what piece of advice can we leave new graduates with that really, truly means something and will drive results? Here are 4 high-level tips and tricks all new graduates should follow when entering this chapter in life and starting new careers.
Make mistakes and learn from them.
Making mistakes is crucial to the learning process, especially when taking on a role that is completely new. Although we have all learned over the years that making mistakes is something to be avoided, it can also show that you are willing to go the extra mile and take a risk, the idea being that a lesson is learned and the mistake is not repeated. Employers prefer to see someone fall and get back up, never falling the same way again, than to have an employee fall once and never recover. Stand out from the crowd and be sure to speak about a time when a mistake helped you for the better in your next interview.
Seek out a mentor or coach.
You may have heard from family members the importance of having a role model, someone to look up to and follow professionally. Those people were right; finding a mentor who can guide and coach you in the direction you are seeking is an invaluable tool.
Networking and relationship building is key at this point in your professional career, so listen more than you speak, and take the advice they give you seriously. Mentors can help set you up for success in not only your first career but also in any professional relationship or venture you may have in the future.
Always be “ON.”
This piece of advice is exactly as it appears; take every opportunity to promote your best self whether on paper or in person. You are one of many applicants applying to every job posting you find and without a clear idea of who you are and where you want to go, the chance for you to show you are the superior choice may be lost.
Using a cover letter to highlight the achievements and goals you have is one way to attract an employer without ever having a face-to-face conversation. When an opportunity to meet in person arises, being “on” is key to standing out from the competition. This includes dressing professionally, having clean copies of your resume and cover letter, and being positive and upbeat.
Focus on your strengths.
We’ve all been there before: what do I focus on when it comes to the skill section of a resume? Whether it be a well-rounded candidate with many different industries and skills or a new graduate who was a double major in two different industries, focusing in on a particular skill or industry can help hone in on a specialty.
This can set you apart from the competition, especially from other new graduates, who will likely put all of their skills and specialties, making it hard for the hiring manager to see if they really do have the right skill set for this position. Tailor your resume to each opportunity you apply to and be sure your cover letter matches those skills. Having a focus can lead you to the career you want, not just a job for the meantime.
Heather joined the Staffing Solutions Department in 2019 as our Recruiting Coordinator. She joins the ABS team with experience in higher education recruitment and administrative work. Heather works closely with our Hiring Managers to coordinate all internal recruiting and onboarding tasks with strong attention to detail. Heather graduated from Old Dominion University with a Bachelor of Science in Human Services.