Whether it’s your first time searching for a job or your tenth, it’s never easy to start the process regardless of how prepared you are. While it doesn’t make it easy, preparation is key to ensuring your efforts are rewarded and your entry-level search is successful.
The internet is full of job search tips that range from general to niche. Finding legitimate sources online can be tricky, and many sites seem to offer contradictory or unusable advice. Instead of spending precious hours filtering through different articles trying to determine what the best tips are, incorporate some of these basic tips into your search in order to boost your chances of success.
Take Advantage of Career Services
You may have never stepped foot in it before, but it’s paid for by your tuition so take advantage of your career services center. Some colleges provide one-on-one resume consulting and long-term career advice and others simply help you network. No matter what your opinion on your schools career services center, don’t underestimate it as a valuable resource. University and college or trade school staff members are usually very receptive to students and alumni who need extra job search help.
Do Your Homework
Before you even consider applying for a job, make sure to do your research. There are helpful sites like glassdoor that allow past and present employees to post their personal company work culture reviews online. Reviews give you an inside look at the company’s dynamics and can help you decide whether the company posting a particular job is the company you want to work for. Keep in mind though that not unlike Yelp, some of the reviews may be overly negative as scorned or unhappy employees seem most likely to contribute. In other words, take them with a grain of salt and if possible ask a friend or friend of a friend that has worked at the company what their feelings are.
Keep Communication Professional
When you’re considering different employment opportunities, always remember to communicate in a professional manner with prospective employers. Simple email slip-ups like “u” instead of “you” can make you appear lazy and immediately disqualify you especially in a competitive environment. Don’t rush your communications and make sure to proof read one or two times before sending. It’s also always a good idea to thank the person you are communicating with regarding the job opportunity. It shows you are grateful and serious about the opportunity.
If you were the student in class who always raised their hand to participate or stayed late to ask questions, then your professor should have no problem issuing you a recommendation. The way you behave in the classroom, especially when you’re in college, can be indicative of how you’d behave on the job. Also make sure to gather recommendations from mentors, co-workers, managers, or anyone else you think could write a succinct and helpful recommendation. Hold onto your professors email addresses after your classes are over as well or ask them for their email if they haven’t provided it and send a thank you, it can go a long way towards helping them remember you when it’s time to gather recommendations.
Use Social Networks Carefully
Social networking has exploded over the past few years. While it’s a great tool to communicate with old friends or family members, social media can also keep you in touch with some of your favorite professors and jumpstart your entry-level job search.
Remember to be on top of your game if you are posting something on your Facebook or Twitter page. Once you post something, it’s out there for the world to see, so don’t post anything you wouldn’t be comfortable with anyone and everyone seeing regardless of your privacy settings. Social networks are also good resources for information. Use them to look up company pages and to find important news that the company posts so that you can easily find company information and other helpful tips.