Landing the first job is not easy. The competition on the market is brutal right now. Hence, any graduate needs to think about their future employment in advance. Overall, it takes years of preparation to get the employment you want on the first try. You better learn how to sustain competition while you are still in college. Here are some tips to help you along the way.
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Set your expectations
First and foremost, you should set your expectations right. On the one hand, we don’t want to discourage you from aiming high. But, on the other hand, we do suggest lowering your expectations. Getting the work of your dream when you are just fresh out of college is not a common phenomenon in the modern job market. Indeed, many students believe that their life will be instantly better right after they gain a degree. Well, it won’t. You will still have to work hard to achieve the desired career. Hence, it takes time and lots of work experience.
So, set realistic expectations to avoid disappointments and rejections. Don’t aim at the positions that require more than you can currently offer. Start with entry-level and make your way from the bottom to the top. Be humble.
One of the best ways to get your first employment is to be social. Indeed, being a good conversationalist can take you far. Just stay social. Use any opportunity to mingle and build a professional network. Often it’s not about what you know but who you know. There is truth to that. By having a good network, you can have great recommendation letters or learn about future job openings before everyone else does. Overall, there are lots of benefits to building business networking, especially before entering a highly competitive market.
Have additional training
Being a graduate from a good university is not everything. These days, colleges graduate thousands of young, ambitious, well-educated people every year. Hence, you need something more than a degree. Having work experience in your field is a bonus, of course. Yet, not all students have an opportunity to work while studying. However, there are other ways. One thing you can do is to apply for additional courses or seek training or classes. Even online degrees can be an advantage to your cause. Overall, try to have something extra on your resume to impress the HRs.
Have a winning resume
A resume plays a crucial role in your chances of employment. So, first, you need to have one. Hence, take time to write it. Keep it professional. Research the best format and style. Don’t be too creative with it, yet try to keep it original. These days, even a degree from a prestigious university won’t do much without a good resume.
Second, your CV needs to impress. Thus, you should work on building your resume while you are still in college. Try to get your hands on any internships, additional courses in your field, and job opportunities that can make you stand out among the rest. Don’t just wait till graduation to start with your resume. Do it at every opportunity you face. You don’t want to look like the ‘do my homework for me’ kind of guy. Instead, you should radiate confidence, potential, and ambitions.
Get ready for the interview
Stress can be a big factor during job interviews. You may enter the room ready to impress. Yet, once you hear that first question, something breaks inside you, and only the wrong words are coming out. It’s a disaster from the start. You don’t want that. Hence, you need to spend a good amount of time getting ready for the interview. It’s not just brief self-talk in front of the mirror. You need to do the research first. Learn the history of the company you are applying to. Find their values, ethics, priorities. Re-read the job application once more to find the clues for the interview.
Also, don’t forget to make answers to the classical interview questions. Those can be anything from “What are your strengths and weaknesses” to “What salary do you expect to earn?” Many of these questions will be uncomfortable. So be ready for that and don’t let the stress get you. Remember, you have been preparing for this very moment.
Have good references
Your lack of experience in the field can be the biggest obstacle to your employment. Employers are nervous about hiring people who haven’t yet proved to be good workers. However, you can improve the situation by bringing good references to the interview. Those can be the references from your professors, volunteering projects you attended, or else. Don’t think that references can only be from your last place of work. Sometimes, you just need a respected person to vouch for you. They can write what an asset you will be in a workplace.