Picture this: you’re entering your last and final semester in university. You’ve worked your butt off the last 3 ½ year, between exams, tedious group projects and your part-time job to help pay for the rent and overpriced textbooks. But now as this chapter of your life is ending, you are in a panic to figure out what to do with the next 30 years of your life. If this sounds anything like you, sit back and relax. This is your road map to entering the adult world!
WTF Do I Even Begin?!
So the first step towards entering the adult world is figuring out where your talents are best suited. What are you best at? Make a list and ask yourself questions like:
- Are you good at public speaking?
- Do you work well in groups or do you prefer to work alone and have more responsibility?
- When working in groups, do you usually take the lead or do you follow?
- How are your analytical skills?
Once you come up with a solid list, evaluate what you enjoy. It’s okay if these two lists overlap. Ask yourself questions like:
- Are you an animal lover?
- Do you like to volunteer?
- Do you like speaking to other people or would you rather keep to yourself?
You want to make sure that you look for a job that incorporates both of these lists. It is crucial that you find a job that incorporates something that you are passionate about. Personally, I enjoy helping others so in my job search, I looked for a position where I was able to talk to clients and customers and help them in any way that I could. I also looked into companies that supported philanthropy because I enjoy volunteering.
The Resume: Your New Best Friend
Before you dive into the application process, you are going to need a resume. Building your resume is one of the most important steps as it can make or break an employer’s decision to even give you that first initial call. Start by using an online template to build your resume. For a free online resume template, check out this website! https://resumegenius.com/resume-templates
Here are my top tips for resume building:
- List your most recent jobs first and keep the list concise (I always say 3-5 work experiences).
- Include any and all volunteer experiences and clubs or teams you may be involved in on campus.
- Keep your references separate. I always write references available upon request. This keeps the door open for more conversation.
- Another thing to keep OFF your resume is your exact location. It’s better to put your region rather than your actual address. I say this for a few reasons. First off, respect your privacy. Potential employers don’t need to know your mailing address. Secondly, if there’s an opportunity 30 miles away, your resume will be put aside because potential employers like to assume that new college graduates are not willing to relocate. Keeping your location vague actually opens more doors than you would think.
It’s now time to start searching. I recommend creating a LinkedIn regardless of your major. LinkedIn is a great tool and can help to grow your network and research companies. You never know who you could connect with. Many of my volunteer experiences have come through LinkedIn and many of those experiences have helped me during the interview process.
Attend your university job fair. Research the companies and make a list of the ones you’d like to speak to. This is where you’re going to want to bring a few copies of your resume. Here are my biggest job fair tips:
- Start with a firm hand shake, eye contact and a SMILE! It shows confidence and it’s a good way for them to remember you.
- Dress business professional. You know the saying, “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have”. You will for sure stick out in a potential employers’ mind. (Here’s a great guide to professional dress https://www.thebalance.com/business-casual-attire-2061335)
- PREPARE QUESTIONS! Create a list of generic questions to ask each company. Ask about what opportunities they have in your field. What are the daily responsibilities? Are they hiring graduating seniors or are they just looking for interns? Is there room to advance in the company? Have a pad of paper and a pen ready to jot this all down.
I also recommend creating an account on indeed.com. I have gotten many leads and even an internship through this website. It’s easy to apply once you upload your resume. You can look for positions in any city and save them.
You Got It Dude!
The bottom line is that you got this! You’ve made it this far, you have it in you to go out there and secure a job. Think about it, you’ve already made the right steps by going to college. You’ve got a good head on your shoulders and with these tips, you’ll do great with your job search. Let us know when you use these tips and when you get your first interview down below! We’d be happy to share more tips and tricks for the interview/follow up process! But until then, you got this dude!