As college graduates move from classroom to workforce the number one question they are faced with is how to prepare for their first job. There are various contributing factors in successfully transitioning from college student to working professional. One main factor is understanding how to attract and maintain positive attention from hiring managers.
Whether you’re a college student just starting out or an experienced professional in your industry, we’ve provided a simple strategy to help you prepare for your next career opportunity!
1. Revise Your Resume
Ask any recent graduate or industry professional and they can confirm that your resume is essential in helping you stand out amongst other candidates. Think of your resume as the best representation of you, and as a professional in your field, it’s important that you can walk-the-walk AND talk-the-talk. Now, re-work that resume because you are one step closer to making your mark!
Pro tip: Have someone like your friend, family member or career advisor proofread your resume to ensure it is the best quality. For specific guidelines on resume writing, check out our template and resume tips here.
2. Personalize Your Cover Letter
One to two paragraphs of engaging content can help you gain the attention of a recruiter or hiring manager. Similar to an elevator pitch, you want to convey your education, work experience, top skills, and personality in a short amount of (reading) time. So, the best way to do this is to re-write, edit, and repeat. Receiving an outsider’s perspective to help guide your process is also a plus.
Pro tip: Your cover letter should be personalized for every job you apply to. While you don’t have to rewrite your cover letter for every job, it helps to emphasize and highlight key skills and responsibilities the job description lists as a requirement.
Remember the expression, “It’s all about who you know” well this is where networking comes into play. Building your professional network can be exciting, but don’t accept just anyone. Reach out to like-minded professionals in your industry through professional networking sites like LinkedIn. Your professional network also acts as a gateway for job opportunities, point of contacts, and even references. Creating both online and in-person connections is of much importance because you never know when you will be looking for your next opportunity.
Pro tip: The next time you find yourself searching for a job or your next opportunity consider reaching out directly to your connections. Sometimes all it takes is a good referral to get you an interview.
4. Organize Job References
Most jobs these days require references, whether a proper written reference or contact information of former employers/coworkers. Similar to step #3, you want to come off as the perfect candidate while also being honest about your work experience. Start reaching out to people you know will give you a good recommendation. Keep their contact information on file for future employment opportunities and you are good to go!
5. Create A Portfolio
The majority of jobs today, especially in marketing, media, editorial, communications, and computer programming all require work samples for proof of your top skills and expertise. If you are on a job posting and the description lists, “portfolio required” we want you to be prepared. Start by creating your own digital portfolio online. There are various free websites that are a great platform for hosting your digital work samples, displaying references, work experience (this includes internships) and providing more information on your professional background.
6. Send A Thank-You Note After Your Interview
First impressions are extremely important when interviewing for a job. Even if you feel confident that you’ve aced the interview, send a follow-up email (or letter) to anyone you’ve interviewed with. We recommend mentioning key takeaways from the interview and listing how working for the company will benefit both you and the organization. Not only will you impress the hiring manager but also demonstrate to the employer that you are serious about the role. The hiring manager will appreciate you for taking the initiative.
7. Always Be On Time
Time management is almost always a skill that every job requires (regardless if it is listed in the job description). Arrive 10 to 15 minutes early for every interview, this gives you time to prepare and lets the employer know that you respect their time as well.
Looking for a job? Reach out to one of our recruiters today and start living the dream or view our current job postings here.
Comrise specializes in IT and Engineering talent solutions while providing our clients with top industry professionals across all industries. Our job candidates also have the opportunity for career growth.
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