Job search tips for recent graduates

1.Prepare for interviews NOW

You need to seriously brush up on your interviewing skills! You won’t be able to wing it. Practice answering the tough interview questions out loud, not in your head. Questions like: What do you know about our company? Why should we hire you? Tell me about yourself and the many “Tell me about a time when …” scenarios. You only have one shot at winning over the interview team, so prepare and practice now!

Your first job is only your first step. You will change jobs, careers and companies many times throughout your career. But the biggest challenge at this point is landing a job without a lot of experience. You need work experience, so any job is better than none. And if you don’t love it, at least you know what you don’t want to do. There’s no such thing as the perfect job; keep an open mind and take note of what you don’t like so you don’t make the same mistake twice.

2.Audit your social media

If you are using Instagram, Snapchat or Facebook, they are all fair game for recruiters to snoop. Go through your updates and make sure to delete posts mentioning guns, politics or alcohol. Check to make sure you haven’t insulted or bad-mouthed companies or people and watch out for profanity. Your accounts don’t need to be sterile, but they do need to be rated G for general audience. You don’t want to offend or turn off potential employers

3.Create a customized resume for each job.

It is faster and easier to use the same resume for each job, but, it won’t work. One of the biggest mistakes you are making by using the same resume for every job is that your resume misses the mark. Recruiters use keywords to search the applicant pool and if you haven’t used them, your resume won’t show up in search results.

4.Tap family friends

Your parents, aunts and uncles all have friends. Notify your entire family that you are looking for a job and mention some of the companies you are interested in. You never know who your family may know. Also, ask your college friends to share your message with their parents and family.

5.Master your pitch

When someone asks you what you do, and they will, you need a 30-second response. A short, easy-to-understand answer helps the person you are talking to understand how they can help when you are networking. Don’t overwhelm them with too much detail. Focus on the one or two most helpful pieces of information you want them to know. You have time later in the conversation to answer any questions or include additional information you want to share.

6.Boost your LinkedIn activity.

Having a shell of a profile on LinkedIn is a rookie mistake. Take time to enhance your profile and present yourself as a worthy candidate for the roles you are interested in. If you’re unsure of what those may be, at least highlight your professionalism and potential. You can also stay in front of your LinkedIn network by sharing one relevant news article as a status update every day!