We’ve all heard about how tough the job market can be for new graduates, but with the right approach, a good amount of gumption and a little bit of luck, you can find yourself with a great job right out of college.
If you’re unsure of just how to tackle your first job search in that big, scary place we call the “real world,” here are some tips on how to land your first corporate job!
Knowing exactly what kind of position you want to snag will go a long way in helping you find the right match. After all, when it comes to getting a job, it’s important to remember that it’s not only about the company liking you; the feeling should be mutual! Since you spend 8-12 hours a day at work, it’s important to find yourself in an environment that you enjoy spending time in.
To determine what kind of job you want, grab a pen and paper and make a list of your strengths and skills. Then, write down the types of tasks you are good at, and which ones you dislike. In addition to helping you find the right company to go after, these lists will come in handy down the line since many employers ask these questions in an interview.
If you are not on LinkedIn already, then stop reading this post and open your account. We promise, we’ll wait right here while you do it…
All set? Now later on today, beef up your profile with details about your experience and skills. Add connections like crazy. Log in regularly and join groups related to your skills and interests. Write posts and comment on what others are saying. (And for Pete‘s sake, please don’t make any spelling mistakes!). Recruiters and companies are constantly scanning LinkedIn for potential new hires. Plus, you never know which one of your contacts might have an in at an amazing company.
Once you’ve thought about the kind of job you want, start researching companies in your field. When you find one that looks just right, take the time to learn about their culture, founders and key staff members. Find articles about them and scour their website from A to Z. Then, use LinkedIn and other social networks to find out if you have any connection to the company. Finally, if the company has a product you can use, try it out! Knowing the product inside and out can help you understand your potential added value for the company and will also give you a leg up in the interview.
Don’t fret if you don’t see a job opening listed at your dream company. As many as 85% of jobs today never get listed, with social media and internal recommendations stepping in where job boards left off. But don’t let this discourage you! Check the website’s “Career” page, consider everyone you know and think of creative ideas on how to get inside. You can also see whether the companies you’re interested in have posted any job vacancies on social media networks. The real job market for web-savvy people doesn’t usually extend the borders of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Check out our beginner’s guide to landing jobs through social media.
If you’ve tried everything but still can’t find a way in, be bold. Cold emailing a potential employer can be a great way to get someone’s attention. It all depends on what you write, how you write it and who you write it to. Just play it smart: since a cold email can be seen as intrusive, it’s best to use your tact and think long and hard about how you use this golden opportunity. You’ll do well to start by reading how to cold email your dream employer.
Once you’ve found a company that you’re dying to work for, it’s time to hunker down and find your way through their doors. Consider the story of Nina Mufleh, a young woman who was so eager to work at AirBnB that she created a Wix website to show the company the opportunities they were missing out on in the Middle East, along with laying out all the reasons why they simply must have her on board.
How powerful was her Wix website?
Her website went viral on Twitter, attracting the attention of AirBnB’s CEO Brian Chesky and even winning her a personal recommendation from Jordan’s Queen Noor.
The good news is, with Wix, anyone can build an online CV for free! It’s a creative and effective way to present your skills, show that you’re proactive and get your future employer’s attention.
Once you’ve garnered their attention, if all goes well, the next step will be an interview. This is when all of your research will come in handy. But remember, you can blow an interview in an instant if you don’t make a great first impression. Arrive a few minutes early, dressed well and bring a printed copy of your resume in hand.
You should also come with a list of questions in mind. This is a way for you to show you’ve done your research and that you know exactly why you belong there.
Remember that coyness has little place in a job interview. And neither does modesty, for that matter. At an interview, you’re the only one in the room who can toot your own horn, so make sure to clearly explain all of the reasons they need you on board! You want to walk out of the room leaving the interviewer with the impression that they’ll be far better off with you on the team.
If you’ve sailed through the interview and received an offer, start off by giving yourself a pat on the back. Heck – go ahead and treat yourself to a 90-minute massage. Not only do you deserve it, but you’re going to need it!
Once you’re inside, if you want to stay there, you have to be ready to work hard. In the corporate world, you’ll likely find yourself starting out on the bottom, doing tasks that you are far overqualified for. But if you work hard and excel, your efforts will pay off as you climb up the corporate ladder.
Ready to find your first job? Browse through these beautiful free CV templates and create a dream resume!
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