Approaching the end of the school year can feel quite daunting. With final exams right around the corner, it can feel like you will never be ready to enter the workforce for your desired career path. Finding work can certainly prove difficult with the fluctuations in the economy and the job market, but you don’t need to settle for a position you don’t prefer.
The good news is, many young professionals land their dream jobs before they move their tassel to the other side of their caps and you could be one of them! Your college degree was likely not cheap, so you should start getting a return on the investment as soon as possible. Take a look at these 5 handy tips to help you land your dream job right out of school.
Networking is probably one of the most important things you can do for your future career. The phrase “It’s who you know,” is true to an extent. If you are referred to a business by someone that knows you on a personal or professional level, that company already knows that there is at least one person who will vouch for you, putting you one step ahead of the other candidates that are vying for the position as well.
Networking isn’t simply talking to the people you know, hoping someone has a connection that can help you wiggle your way into an interview. You can also attend networking events such as job fairs, make phone calls, and just get the word out there that you are on the hunt for your dream job. This can take you much further than you would expect.
Another great thing about networking is that by keeping in contact with potential employers, you may learn about open positions and career opportunities before they are advertised. If the employer is interested in what you have to offer, they may even extend an invitation for you to interview for their company.
2. Start the Search Early
One of the best ways to get your new career launched right after graduation is to take the initiative and start the job search while you are still in school. Your final two years of college should be full of studying, networking, visiting your university’s career office, and attending job fairs.
Getting the ball rolling on the job search can be the difference between jumping into your dream job right away or being stuck with an in-between job after graduation until you are able to get your foot in the door somewhere.
The closer you get to graduation, the more you should focus on landing a job. Brush up on your interviewing skills, perfect your resume, and prepare yourself for multiple rounds of interviews. You may end up with only a few interviews before you find the right fit or you could be interviewing for weeks before you have a job offer. No matter how long it takes, being prepared is key.
3. Update Your Social Media Accounts
It’s no secret that your online presence is not as private as you think it is. Many people are blissfully unaware of just how much of their personal information can be found with just a quick Google search. Try it out; type your name into the search bar and see what comes up.
One of the first things an employer will do after reading over your resume is Google you and search for you on the major social media platforms. They want to learn about who you are and see if you are a good fit for the company.
Before you start submitting your resume, it would be a smart plan to take a look at your social media accounts and see what type of message you give off. Remove any offensive photographs and be sure that any long political or religious rants and any inappropriate content are either deleted or hidden from those outside of your friends list.
You should also check the settings on your accounts to see what type of information and posts can be seen by anyone that searches or you. Anyone can see your name, photograph, and basic info so be sure your profile picture is positive and professional, as this will be one of the first impressions your potential employer will have of you.
4. Browse Jobs Sites for Grads
One of the best things about searching for a job in the 21st century is that we have way more technology available than they did 20+ years ago. Back in the day, you had to go out and pound the pavement to find a job. Candidates would walk from business to business, submitting applications and offering copies of their resume. Things have changed drastically since those days.
Recruiters are always looking for applicants that are fresh out of college. They want you. With online job sites, it’s easier than ever to get your name out there and to apply for your dream job. With websites such as CollegeGrad.com, Coolworks.com, Indeed.com, and many more, you can send your resume directly to the employers you are interested in working for.
5. Get Ready for Graduation
Keep in mind that, even if you land that dream job, you still have a few hurdles left to tackle: final tests related to your degree, professional and licensure exams like the Bar exam or series 63, and of course, graduation itself. Once you have a job in mind or even lined up, you can truly focus on finals and passing those necessary professional and licensure exams.
By the way, if you feel like you need some additional help while you study for the bar exam or prepare for your last round of finals, there is nothing wrong with seeking out a tutor or taking a prep course to help you feel like you’re truly ready to tackle the remainder of your exams.
While you are prepping for the end of the semester and for graduation, it is important to keep your mental health and well-being in mind as well. Be sure to eat properly, get plenty of rest, and spend some time relaxing between interviews, classes, studying, and prep courses.
John Ross, JD, MSA, CPA (inactive) is a former CPA and corporate attorney. John has worked as an associate attorney for Vault 100 law firm Cooley LLP, as well as Big 4 accounting firm Deloitte Touche. He graduated summa cum laude from the University of San Diego School of Law and holds both a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Masters in Accounting from San Diego State University.