Are you nervous about getting a job after graduation? Nobody wants to graduate and then be unemployed for six months. So what can you do to improve your chances? Here are some steps you can take that will put you in a strong position to get hired as soon as you take off your cap and gown:
Sign up with an Employment Agency. Most people wait until after they need a job to visit an employment agency. However, most agencies have resources that you can make use of even before you graduate. At an employment agency, you can attend workshops, get help with your resume, do research, and find out about available positions. If you do this work ahead of time, you will be able to hit the ground running once you finish school.
Conduct Information Interviews. When you talk to people that work in your industry, you are able to get a real picture of what it’s like. At an information interview, you can find out which skills are in demand, which companies might be hiring, what type of job you should be targeting, and what it would be like to work in the industry. Use your network or even social media to identify people to interview and ask them if they would be able to give you fifteen minutes of their time. You may be surprised by how many people are willing to talk to students.
Volunteer. When you have limited work experience, volunteer work is an excellent way to get real skills on your resume. If possible, try to find a volunteer position that would give you experience working in your field. Extracurricular activities can also help you demonstrate soft skills such as leadership skills, organizational skills and the ability to work well on a team.
Do Labour Market Research. By the time that you graduate, you should have a clear idea of where you fit into the labour market. What types of jobs are available that would be a good match for your skills? Review industry publications and job advertisements to get a sense of which skills are in demand and what is happening in your field.
Develop Your Social Media Profiles. In today’s job market, employers will almost definitely check you out on social media before making the decision to hire you. Make sure that your social media presence demonstrates both your professionalism and your expertise. You can also use social media to make connections, develop your network and possibly even get a job. If you work on it a little bit each day, you may find that before long the jobs will start to come to you!
After spending all of that time and money getting through school, you are no doubt eager to find a job, but realistically it will take a few months. However, if you start working on it before you graduate, it will a much easier (and quicker) process and before you know it you’ll be receiving your first paycheck.
(Written by: Karen Bivand)