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Rabu, 15 September 2010

3 Golden Keys to Job Hunting For New Grads

So you just graduated college finally and are looking for your first real entry-level job. How should you go about your job hunt? Just sit home and click away at the "submit resume" button all day? Stop what you're doing! Find out what are the real keys to job hunting as a new grad in this economy and improve your chances out there!

1. Consistency

Ever hear the phrase "looking for a job is a job itself"? That holds true for many people. If you want to be successful in your job search, you must have a certain job hunt process you go through every day and you must carry it out, every day consistently. Now for college grads this shouldn't be anything new; studying in college showed you that consistency brought results. Were you more confident going into a test studying at the last minute, or reviewing content every week? Here's a little example below of a job hunt process:

o You wake up and apply for jobs online you see posted (job boards, job aggregators, corporate sites)
o Spend a few hours reading articles on how to brush up your job interview skills, how to
improve your resume. Maybe even do a mock interview with your family or friend.
o Later you spend an hour or so trying to figure out who you can network with (who do my friends
know? Who does my family know? What about online networking sites like LinkedIn, who should I contact locally?).

This is just a small example, and by no means should you manage your time particularly like this - but what's important is the fact that these are steps. You must be consistent and keep at what you are doing. If you don't stay consistent during your job hunt, what happens is you see no results.

For example, say you start networking on Monday and apply to jobs, and then don't follow up on networking the next few days and focus just on your resume. A week passes by, and you totally forgot about replying back to the people you networked with. Those people may now think you're unorganized and already you lose any value you could present to them as an acquaintance. You have to stay consistent with what you do as a job seeker; show those people you're on top of things and are eager to find work.

2. Focus

What is the particular job position you are looking for? What industry? Fresh graduates have a lot of trouble with this one, partly because many are not even 100% sure what job they want. Once again, coming out of College, you have experience with this: you spent 4 years trying to figure out what you want to do with your life, what to major in, so this is just another thing you have to figure out.

Two things College grads should focus on:

1. What is the job position you really want?
2. What industry do you want to work in? What companies do you find attractive?

We are in a recession and you'll be told not to be picky, but believe it or not, sending out 50 resumes every day to 50 different jobs at 50 different companies in totally different industries will not yield the best results for your job search.

So what happens if you focus on a job and industry?

Job position: Take a look over at your resume, what duties have you performed that could be applicable to an entry-level job that you like? Fast-forward to an HR manager reading your resume, they'll see your job duties are similar to the ones advertised in this new job opening, and you look like promising candidate now. Match your skills and strengths to particular job types as well.

Industry/Company: Get involved in an industry you're passionate about. Join clubs and organizations and read their newsletters, magazines, and books. Most importantly keep up with the trends in the industry. Why? Let's say you are networking with a particular person who works for a company in the entertainment industry and bring up in the conversation some trends you noticed or predictions you have. What will happen immediately is that person will be impressed that not only have you done your research as a college graduate, but you have a strong passion for that industry and it shows! Passion truly does give you motivation, and motivation is a recipe for success when you are working so remember that.

3. Change

People change, job duties change, the economy changes, so why shouldn't your job search strategies? Set a "Point of Review" - this could be every week, two weeks, or even every month or two (we don't suggest waiting too long).

During your Point of Review you should analyze 3 things:

1. What are your results so far? Write them down; 1 interview? 2 leads you got through networking?
2. What approach did you take that lead to those results? Did you talk about the industry trends with the person you were networking with? Did you leave out the "Career Objective" in your resume?
3. What are you going to change this time around?

During your job search (especially as a new grad) it is difficult to understand the cause and effect relationship of things you do, but sometimes some things are quite obvious. A small tweak in your resume's language can make a huge impact. Similarly, a simple change in your body language when you go to networking events can make a huge difference. For example, take note of how you acted; were you talking too long during the interview? Did you interrupt the interviewer a few times perhaps?

What you should do is try to use your "observing ego" - this is when you essentially observe what you say and how you act, and the results that come with that. Remember how you went about things and think of what you can change - little things of course, we're not saying you should go to your next networking event in your Halloween costume (although that would be very entertaining for the rest of us).

So that's it, consistency, focus, and change. These are basic principles that bring great results so use them to your advantage.

Good luck on your job hunt new grads!

Kevin Cormac

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