You’ve finally done it. You went to college, learned to budget your time and your money, worked hard, learned a lot and graduated. Now you’re ready to move onto the next chapter and start your career.
Are you ready?
Electronic applications and social media have made it faster and easier to find and apply for jobs, but you still have to do the work of:
- Planning – Deciding which jobs fit your career path.
- Tools – Preparing your resume, cover letter and other tools for the application process.
- Research – Accessing job boards and other social media channels to get your name out.
- Networking – Getting your name out there to the right people.
If you’re not quite sure how to get started, the career services department at IPR has these tips for your job search.
1. Devise a Strategy – Research the hiring process in your chosen field to find which jobs are the best for new graduates and how to use the various channels to find opportunities.
2. Build an Online Profile – Your online profile is an important channel in your job search. An online profile such as LinkedIn makes is easy to:
- Upload resumes
- List skills and experience
- Search for jobs on job boards
- Find positions using keyword searches
- See related jobs to the skills you’ve posted
3. Create an Effective Resume – Your resume is an essential part of the job search process. The purpose of that resume is to get an interview. The average amount of time it takes an employer to look at a resume is 30 seconds or less, so it’s crucial that your resume is brief, attracts attention, creates interest and describes your accomplishments.
4. Master the Cover Letter – The old adage, “You only have one chance to make a first impression,” applies perfectly to cover letters. You should craft a new cover letter for each job you apply for.
- Avoid overuse of the word “I”
- Use a professional business letter format
- Address the letter to the appropriate individual or department
- Keep a record of letters you sent and any responses you received
- Ask someone with good writing skills to proof your letter
One of the most important pieces of advice that you will learn immediately is to always double check your letter for spelling and grammar errors.
5. Get Comfortable with the Interview Process – When you know what to expect from the interview process, you’ll be more comfortable sitting down with hiring managers and human resource personnel. Practice interviewing with friends, family or the career services professionals at IPR.
6. Find the Best References – References come in three categories: personal, academic and employment. They are the exclamation point that communicates you are a responsible, qualified candidate.
7. Learn the Art of Thank You Letters – Want to stand out from the crowd of job applicants? There is nothing like a handwritten thank you letter to show that you appreciated the hiring person’s time and that you are eager for the opportunity to join their team.
Ultimately, no one can promise when or what job you’ll find. But the better prepared you are, the better chance you’ll give yourself. IPR offers career placement assistance to all of our students and graduates.