Some tips and tricks on how to land your first job after graduation
Graduation may have only been a few months ago, or perhaps it's just a few more months into the year, but the real test is just beginning - the job hunt. Don't panic! It's not rocket science; it's just a bunch of grown-ups playing musical chairs with a limited number of chairs. But don't worry! With a little bit of humour and some tips, you'll be landing your dream job in no time.
1. Network like a boss (or like a junior boss, at least).
Remember, it's not about what you know but who you know. Or, as someone’s Nan always used to say, "It's not what's in your head that counts; it's who's in your phone." Reach out to everyone and anyone, from your family and friends to that weird guy you met at a party once. Attend networking events, join professional organisations, and USE LINKEDIN to connect with people in your desired field. Who knows, you may even make a new friend or two and they may recommend you for a new role.
2. Tailor your resume and cover letter like a tailored suit.
Highlight your relevant skills, experiences, and accomplishments, use keywords from the job description and put them in the appropriate order on your CV. Remove jobs that don’t have anything to do with the position you’re applying for. I know it's tempting to fill that space with that check-out job you had at Maccas, but it's not relevant. Use this space to show off your projects if you have no relevant job history. And don't forget; your cover letter should be like a first date - make a good impression and show them why you're a good fit.
3. Prepare for job interviews like it’s the last job on earth.
Do your research on the company and the position you're applying for, practice your answers in front of the mirror, and dress to impress. Remember, first impressions are everything, so arrive on time and have available copies of your resume. If you can find out who your interviewers are, it’s good practice to do your research using LinkedIn. You can often find out where people went to Uni, where they worked previously and if you have any connections; these are all excellent ways to build rapport. Interviews are often scheduled on Zoom/Teams, so make sure to have everything set up and ready to go before the interview starts.
4. Persistence is key.
The job search process can be long and winding, with plenty of rejection along the way. But don't give up! Keep searching and consider taking on freelance work, volunteering, or interning in the meantime. These experiences can help you gain additional skills and make connections in your desired field. Always, always, always ask for feedback on interviews. Whether you felt like you bossed it or if you feel like you’re never going to hear from these people again. Their feedback is critical to arm you in the future with better answers, even if you do smash it and land the first job.
5. Positivity and Professionalism go a long way.
Throughout the job search, it's essential to maintain a positive and professional demeanour. Treat everyone you meet respectfully, even if they cannot help you find a job. You never know when someone may become a valuable connection in the future. And, always remember, when one door closes, another one opens. The job hunt can be a rollercoaster of emotions, but with persistence, humour, and the right approach, you'll be landing your dream job in no time. Network like a boss, tailor your materials like a tailored suit, prepare for interviews like you're going to the Oscars, be persistent, and stay positive and professional.