Before we dive into the topic of effective job hunting, let’s start with the basics. To get a job, you will need to prepare for the interview. Before you can do this, there are some things that you may want to consider doing. These include, but are not limited to, researching the company you are interviewing with, figuring out what your weaknesses are and how you can improve them, and reflecting on why it is that you want this job. Without doing these preliminary steps, a job interview is pretty much pointless.
This article is to help those of you graduating college who have no clue how to get a job or where you should go.
The Importance of job hunting to a graduate
First of all, you must work on your confidence. This might be by taking some acting classes, writing articles for your newspaper, or even going out and talking to people in the community. You will have an easier time getting a job if you feel comfortable presenting yourself in front of others when you are in their presence.
Second of all, you must practice interviews with someone who can help you prepare for real interviews. For example, coaches are excellent people to practice hiring you. These people can help you prepare for questions that you will likely be asked during a hiring interview and they can help you look the part.
Finally, despite what your parents try to tell you, you must use some of your time while in college on finding a job so that when graduation comes around and they insist on taking care of everything for you, there are options for things such as paying rent and buying groceries.
When you’re looking for a job, it usually means that you have to make the rounds and go to interviews. There’s no turning back now after you’ve gone this far, so your next step is just to make sure that it goes as smoothly as possible.
Seven Tips to an Effective Job Hunting
Here are tips on effective job hunting:
- You should always keep a positive attitude – Your positive attitude will carry over into your interview skills, where having a warm and inviting smile is important (along with showing respect).
- Always be on time and always give it your all.
- Research the company beforehand – Before you even get to the interview, you should do some research on the company that you’re applying to – What are their business practices? What are they known for? Who’s their competition? How far do they go in supporting charities or organizations? You can expect this kind of question randomly thrown at you, so if you know the answer, it could work in your favor.
- Practice makes perfect – Practice interviews with friends or family to help sharpen up your skills and make sure that your answers match how you feel about certain things (It’s easier to keep it real when practicing with a friend versus a group of questioning strangers).
- Make sure you know where to go – If you’re only applying to jobs that are in your neighborhood, then go visit the place! Even if you don’t get hired there, you’ll at least get a good idea of what the company is all about.
- It’s okay not to be perfect – There’s no perfect résumé out there, so make yours as simple and short as possible. The best way to know if it’s good or not is when it looks like it’s coming together and people seem genuinely interested in reading what you have to say.
- Be honest, but not too honest – There’s no point in oversharing, but if you feel it’s necessary to tell the whole story from Top Gun (or whatever your favorite film is), then go for it. It’s better to be a little truthful than come across as a boring robot.
- Don’t get flustered – If you know that you’re nervous and that nervousness could show through in your answers, work on relaxing. Breathe deep and clear your mind before starting your interview. You’ll be surprised how well this will work!
Important Tools For Effective Job Hunting
One of the most important components for an undergraduate to get a job is to have a good resume. Many free websites can help provide information on how to write a resume and what should be included like Inky Paws, The Ladders, and our website. Another important piece is your cover letter.
A cover letter is what you’ll send with your resume before applying for jobs online so companies know you exist and want the job they posted. It educates them on who you are as an individual and why they should consider hiring you over other candidates submitting applications. You can use our website to send out a cover letter or purchase a pre-written one.
Most companies that post job ads ask for a resume or CV (Curriculum Vitae).
Why is a Resume Important for a job hunt?
The main purpose of a resume is to sell yourself. When preparing your resume, don’t write down every little thing you do throughout your life and every project you’ve done (it can be overwhelming!). Instead, highlight the most important points and focus on applying yourself with strong achievements in those areas. Employers want people who are organized and ambitious but won’t try to over-sell themselves. Save some space for the more interesting things that may not be very relevant to the position you’re applying for, like hobbies or volunteer activities. Be sure to list relevant skills, such as computer programs you know, languages you speak, and any certifications. Keep in mind that the resume is meant to be a brief overview of your education and work experience but it must also show that you are a good fit for the company’s needs.
What about My GPA?
If you feel as though your GPA isn’t high enough or doesn’t highlight your hard work, don’t worry! Employers understand that grades can be harder depending on classes taken, teachers taught, etc. If you have great projects or presentations that show off your analytical skills and determination, include them! As I mentioned before, employers want people who are organized and ambitious but not pushy.
Another tool is your portfolio. This is a compilation of all the projects you completed throughout your undergraduate career, including work you performed in labs, internships, and extracurricular activities. Your portfolio can show off your skills but it needs to be relevant to the position you’re applying for. Employers want you to demonstrate that you can handle their specific needs and understand how to use your skills in the workplace. If you have a more diverse set of experiences and interests outside of school, include them in a separate section that professionally details everything.
While job hunting, avoid sending emails to companies you don’t feel are right for you. Common sense tells us not to waste our time, and this is backed up by science. When sending emails, keep in mind that the success rate of company responses ranges from 30-50%. Also, it’s better if you want a response to schedule an interview rather than send a cold email. Sending the company an email will put them on the defensive when they might not be interested in your application at all. The best way to find out if a company even will answer your email is by using their website or social media pages.