Top Eight Ways to Get Hired After Graduation
- Create a strategy for your job search that does not involve becoming a “serial applier.” Waiting for a job to open is one of the most ineffective ways to land a job, so spending countless hours sending your resume to this job board and that corporate site will only land you in a longer job search. Do not spend more than 10% of your job search time responding to open positions. Statistics show that only 15% of jobs are ever posted, leaving 80% of jobs unadvertised or never posted. Instead, now that you’ll have some free time, focus on what you want to do. (See bullet #2!)
- Decide what you want to do. (Note: This does not include the words “I’ll take anything.”) Recruiters want to know that you have a preference and a passion for a certain job function or industry. It may be challenging for fresh college graduates to uncover this with little work experience, so exploration and assessment is the key. Books like StrengthsFinder 4.0 and courses like “HIRED! The Ultimate Job Search Course (Pearson Publishing) can help make this decision easier.
- Create a conversational and compelling profile on LinkedIn and then study LinkedIn like it’s my job. There are two kinds of job seekers: those who are serious about their job search and those who are not. And, if you are not on LinkedIn, you unwillingly put yourself in the latter category. By accepting that being on LinkedIn is the cost of doing business these days, you are essentially saying: “dark ages, move over!”
- Seek out information, not openings. Setting up informal discussions with decision-makers and/ or hiring managers, even if they are not hiring, you will be the “known” candidate when there is an opening. When you spend time chasing down the hiring manager after the position is open, it becomes much more difficult to get anyone to speak with you: there are too many candidates, so they have no incentive to do so. By getting there before the position is open, you run a better chance at having an opportunity to interview for a position than you do if you wait for the job to open.
- Get support when you’re discouraged, and help when you need it. Sharing concerns with trusted friends who can offer encouragement, and mentors or career experts who can offer specific advice can only help you enhance your self-confidence, pull you out of a rut, and help propel you forward.
- Don’t show your cards too early. So you got an interview…congratulations! It’s ok to want to get home every Wednesday night to volunteer, or have an early end of week every other Friday to go bowling, but you do not want to “out” yourself too early on in the interview. You need to prove you want the job, and get them to want you in the job, before you can start negotiating the particulars of the work-life balance stuff. (And, maybe even after the offer is extended, you may want to prove yourself in the job first, before you start asking for a whole lot of time off.)
- Get your money situation handled. The quicker you learn how to live on what you have for longer, the better off you’ll be. It’s always better to not be in a position to have to take whatever comes around (thus saving you from a death-by-Ramen-noodles). Hire a financial advisor so you can afford to live while you are searching for a job.
- Give before you expect to get. Commit to doing something good for someone else each day, such as mentoring a student, recommending a colleague for an opportunity, or making an introduction. Generous job seekers land faster (and make more friends in the process).
If you want to hear more from Laura, we have included a link to a recorded webinar from just a couple months ago. The webinar, Getting Students Hired! Cracking the Code on the Hidden Job Market, covers how to teach students the following: Developing a personalized marketing plan, targeting the right companies, and expanding their web of contacts.
About the Author
Laura M. Labovich is a Pearson author of the book HIRED! The Ultimate Job Search Course. As Chief Executive Officer of The Career Strategy Group, an outplacement and career management firm in Bethesda, MD, Laura shares best-in-class job search strategy, tools and tactics with job seekers all over the world, empowering them to land a job faster!
Before launching the internship program for America Online, Laura got her start at Walt Disney World, where she recruited nationwide for the Walt Disney World College Program, led the recreation recruiting and staffing efforts for Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon and Disney’s Blizzard Beach water parks, and staffed up Disney’s Animal Kingdom for its inaugural launch.