Happy Friday, friends!
Today on the blog, I’ve compiled a number of tips for all my nearly college-graduated friends, and anyone else out there who’s in the midst of the dreaded first-job search.
My advice is based on the experiences that I personally had landing my first job, and like anything, your experience will be different than mine. However, us college grads share a common bond — we all know the pressure and anxiety that comes with job searching. Trust me, I know how stressful it can be, but don’t worry about the process. Live your life!
Graduating college is, as cheesy as it sounds, the start of your life. I’m totally serious when I say that anything you thought you knew before college, is completely turned upside down in the real world. But, that’s not a bad thing! The whole point of graduating is to begin the journey of life and come into your true self. So sit back, relax, and read some of my tips for finding your first job post-graduation.
1. Timeline, or Lack Thereof
Okay, first piece of advice right off the bat — don’t set a specific timeline for yourself. Yes, having ambition and determination to find a job is important, but you’ll drive yourself nuts worrying about reaching that first-job deadline. Let the process take its course, because it’ll be how it’s going to be.
If you’re about to graduate college, chances are you have about six-to-eight weeks until commencement. In all honesty, I’ve been in your shoes, so I understand the pressure you may feel to have your life together and have a job locked down by graduation. Well, sometimes it doesn’t happen that way, and that is okay!!! Don’t let that worry you!
It took me six months to find a job after graduation, and honestly those were the best six months! This newly freed time gave me the opportunity to travel to places I had always dreamed of going, and I was able to devote my efforts into developing things that I love, like this blog for example. After four years or more of college, you deserve to chill for a little bit!
A job will come when it comes, so don’t stress too much about it! If you work hard and show your passion for whatever it may be that you love, you’ll find a job. I just know it! Instead of mindlessly applying for jobs during this pre-graduation period, start to consolidate your thoughts and really figure out what you want to do and where you want to be doing it.
2. Putting the Pieces Together
Before I graduated, I had applied to more jobs than I even care to count, and you want to know how many I heard back from? None. When I look back on it now, it’s laughable because sometimes that’s just how it is! But don’t let that discourage you because YOU ARE AWESOME! If you’ve applied for a job that you really see yourself in, follow up with the HR contact, and follow up again! You’re not being annoying — you’re being proactive.
If you’re anything like me, you may not know where you want to be and what you want to be doing. I’m a Libra, and honestly, I still don’t know if where I am and what I’m doing is what I want to be doing, if that makes sense. But, YOLO!
Before you begin really applying for jobs, think about where you want to live. Is it in the city you grew up? Is it NYC? Or some random part of the country? Wherever you plan to plant your roots, think about how much you would flourish by living there. To me, where you live is all about personal growth, because it’s not just where you’re living and working, it’s where you’re growing up. So, make sure that it’s somewhere you can see that happening.
Also, the not-so-fun part of this — finances. I know it’s sometimes weird to talk about, but you know I’m always keepin’ it real over here on Stylishly Good Vibes! Your list of places you dream of living may be pretty extensive, but it’s important to think about how you will support yourself financially. I’m a big dreamer, and I think that we should all shoot for the stars because we can accomplish anything if we work hard enough! But, in my opinion, how much your cost of living will be versus the projected salary earned is something that’s really important to consider before picking up and moving.
Weigh the pros and cons of living at each location on your list of places you dream of living. Maybe even schedule a road trip or flight to check out those cities again. One of the biggest things that I’ve realized since moving is that sometimes the places that you love to go on vacation, are better left for vacation. Does that make sense? I’m experiencing that right now, but ya know, you’ve just got to learn from your experiences!
So, now that you’ve probably narrowed down your list of places, you’re most likely left with one or two cities where you want to apply for jobs. Good! Now is the fun part: applying!
3. How do I find a job!?
First off, slow your roll. Don’t rush into this step! From your consolidated list of places you can see yourself living, begin researching companies in the industry you want to be in. For me, I started looking up digital marketing agencies in the cities that were on my list, and I went from there.
Begin by making a running list of any companies that initially come up in your search. After you’ve made a pretty lengthy list of places, dive into your research of each individual company. Go onto their websites, look at their past work or previous clients they’ve worked with, look on their team page — everything. It’s important to really get a feel for the companies before you even decide if you want to apply there.
For me, the company that I’m currently at did not have a job posting for my position. I just thought it sounded like the kind of place I would enjoy working, so I reached out and sent my resume through. As simple as that! Whether you’re applying for a job on a website, or you’re inquiring about a job opening, be yourself!
4. So you’ve landed an interview, now what?!
I’m not sure how it will play out for all of you, but from my experience this part of the application game was the most interesting. After about three weeks from when I initially inquired about my current job, the company reached out to me looking to schedule a Skype interview. Once it was scheduled, I meticulously prepared for it! I wrote down mock interview questions and came up with different talking points for each. I practiced, practiced, practiced, because it matters!
When you show that you’re prepared and you’re able to bring something interesting to the table because of the research that you did, you’ll stand apart from other candidates! If you’re going to an in-person interview, make sure to bring a few copies of your resume and cover letter — just in case you need them. If you remember anything in this blog post, have it be this: remember people’s names!
I’ll openly admit that I’m horrible with names. I’m so scatter-brained to begin with, and my mind is always jumping from one topic to the next, so names are really hard for me to remember. I apologize if I’ve ever forgotten anyone’s name who is currently reading this! Anyways, if you meet a bunch of people in an interview, make sure to come up with some kind of memory lock for yourself when it comes to their names. It’s important to keep tabs so that you can send thank-you notes to the correct people!
Also, just a quick note because I think it’s important to mention. My current job was the first job that I heard back from in my entire application process. I know that sometimes there are these ideas about never accepting the first job you get offered or whatever. But don’t let that be a thing that freaks you out because if your first job offer fits what you’re looking for, just go for it!
Okay, that’s all I’ve got for this blog post. I feel like it was a lot of rambling, and I had so much more to say, but I didn’t want this to turn into a novel. Hopefully you can take something away from the experiences that I’ve had! As always, if you ever have any questions about anything at all, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me in the comments below. I would love to hear about how the job search is going for all of you!
Until next time, friends!