In this guest post, Aditya Singhal shares job hunting tips and ideas on how to improve your chances of getting a good job after college.
Across the globe every year, hordes of grad school students enter the workforce with dreams of landing a great job. But just because you have an extra degree in hand doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed to get hired right away.
In the majority of career fields, the competition is tougher than ever, as well-educated recent grads (freshers) battle it out for just a few key positions.
How do you gain an edge? By investing more in yourself – both before and after you graduate.
“It’s all about who you know,” may sound like a cliché, but it’s true – especially when it comes to job-hunting.
Recruiting managers hate sifting through piles of resumes, and the first place they look to fill a position is often within their own networks. Use your college alumni groups to make professional contacts.
Connect online and in person with people who are working or hiring in your field. Having a strong network instantly improves your chances of getting a job after grad school.
Social media is a powerful job-hunting tool, and there are unlimited opportunities for you to socialize through it. Follow recruiting managers on Twitter and build a powerful profile on LinkedIn.
Keep track of relevant companies and influencers by following them on Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus. Create a personal brand, being conscious of the professional image you’re presenting to the public.
[Read this related post – Is your online image harming your chances?]
Don’t limit your persona to what is mentioned in your CV and social media profiles. Prove that you are an intelligent, well-rounded person by using blogging as your weapon.
Write about that book you read last week or share your passion for cooking. Let people know how much you love your hobbies, and show that you have energy and talent that goes beyond your professional accomplishments.
Here’s a good option to get started: Self-branding on Careerizma
Internships offer invaluable experience while you’re still in school, and summer can be the best time to snag one. Don’t hesitate to take more than one internship program in a year, either.
[Read this related post – How to convert summer internships into fulltime jobs]
It might help pay the bills, but flipping burgers does nothing for your resume. Choose a part-time, entry-level position that has some connection to your target profession.
Besides beefing up your CV, this will also give you a chance to see what it’s really like to work in that industry.
While you’re still in school, try not to be too rigid about a particular career path. Especially early on, open yourself up to exploring various industries, accepting part-time jobs and internships to determine which is the best fit for you.
Mark Cuban, entrepreneur and star of the hit television series Shark Tank, believes that people possess myriad passions in their lives, but not all of them are suitable careers.
Ask yourself what occupies most of your time and effort in life, and try to translate that into a meaningful career. You might have dreams of being a Cosmo cover girl, but if you spend most of your time designing clothes for you and your friends, you may be better suited for a career in fashion design than modeling.
Do I need to tell you that your grade point average (GPA) really matters? Put in the leg work and take your grades seriously.
Don’t underestimate the power of a strong, well-written CV. Set yourself apart from other job applicants by showing a bit of personality in your resume, but keep in mind that this is only appropriate for certain types of jobs.
[Related post – How to write a good resume]
So you finally landed that interview? This is a case where your appearance does matter, so invest some time and money in selecting an appropriate outfit.
The wrong clothes can be a distraction – or worse, a deal-breaker. Consider the company culture, and dress accordingly.
Aditya Singhal is the co-founder of transtutors.com, which is a leading online tutoring resource for college students. Adi and his team are currently creating a courseware platform for MBA students. Adi gives back to society by contributing a portion of the company’s revenue toward the education of poor students in India.