Congratulations, college graduate!
You may have already started (in which case, kudos to you), but now is the time to put a concentrated effort into your job search – researching where you want to work, establishing your professional reputation, and starting the network of connections that will support your career for the long term.
Follow these suggestions as you take the time to do it right:
Use your school’s career services office.
The career development office at your college can connect you with other alumni who work in your field of interest. Typically, these offices provide myriad career resources. The most valuable is the alumni database, where graduates register to share their experiences and contacts. Take advantage of it.
Manage your online reputation.
According to one recent study, 80 percent of employers and recruiters will do an Internet search of your name before they consider inviting you for an interview. It’s time to get rid of the spring break photos and optimize your online presence.
- Clean up Facebook and other social media pages.
- Google yourself and see exactly what those employers will find out about you.
- Delete, fix, replace or improve as needed.
Build a strong LinkedIn profile.
LinkedIn remains the pre-eminent professional social networking site. Yet, studies show that only one-third of college students have a LinkedIn presence. So, make yours stand out!
- Complete your profile. In addition to your new degree, include most of all of the jobs you have had. They show how you have successfully shouldered responsibility. As you accumulate more professional experience, you can delete earlier positions as you add new ones.
- Grow your list of connections. Connect to as many adults as you know you have solid LinkedIn profiles.
Start a blog.
Only one in nine college students has a presence on Word Press, known by many as the best site to put together a personal blog. Buy your own domain name through a service such as GoDaddy.com, and then install Word Press on the site you create.
- If you’re unsure about your career path, blog about a personal interest. It’s preferable to hone in on a professional topic, but if you can’t, then write about another subject that interests you. It’s still a great way to grow your network.
Find a mentor.
Make use of your networks to find a career mentor: someone who is successfully doing what you want to do. The right mentor can open doors and change everything for you when it comes to building your career.
- Do an advanced LinkedIn search for companies or fields where you want to work. Send emails to people you find, and ask if they will meet with you. Many will be impressed by this approach, as noted by Dan Schawbel, author of the personal branding book, Me 2.0: 4 Steps to Building Your Future.
- Join a professional development or industry-specific group. In addition to being a possible source of a mentor, such groups offer educational, social and networking benefits. Get involved on a committee or project to enhance your visibility and showcase your skills, knowledge and commitment.
The career development experts at Pridestaff Modesto can help as you start down the path to your lifelong career following college. We specialize in connecting job seekers to leading area employers – at no cost to you. Read our related posts or contact us today to learn more.