Getting started with your career after years of grueling college training can be both exhilarating and daunting. While companies are indeed ready to hire new graduates, there are common mistakes job seekers commit that may get in the way of them landing their dream jobs.
Fortunately, no small mistakes are irreparable, and if you want to get back on track, the following helpful advice can boost your chances of finally seizing that career starter.
Use the Power of Social Networking
Make your entry into your industry easier by getting acquainted with people who are already inside. They could be former college friends, mentors, and even professionals you meet through sites like LinkedIn. Social networking is an excellent source for opportunity leads and can generally help you learn more about your chosen career path.
Consider the Possibility of Drug Testing
A recent study discovered that marijuana use among US college students remains the highest in three decades. You may have decided to leave the high life, but drug tests don’t always agree. After enduring rigorous interviews, the last thing you want is to fail a pre-employment exam. Prepare well or explore last-resort options if necessary.
Do Your Research
When scouring sites for work opportunities, take note of the job descriptions they’re looking for in a candidate. Compile them in a sheet and integrate them into your résumé. During the actual job interview, mention these keywords. Of course, see to it that you can follow up and elaborate when asked to.
Cultivate Your Soft Skills
Soft skills, in a nutshell, are personal attributes that allow an individual to interact with others. This includes the capability to communicate well, think creatively, and make the right decisions while taking others into consideration. Hard skills matter, but they’re not always enough. Your ability to work out relationships is a large determiner of success.
Work for Free
If you want to build your portfolio, the fastest and easiest way to do so is to work pro bono. It’s also an excellent way to put your skills into practice and learn new things along the process—a necessary preamble to the reality of work. Be a volunteer, find an internship, and build up.
Don’t Stop Learning
Who says learning stopped when you got your diploma? Your industry is evolving and so should you. Read every day and devote time for learning new skills. This will help you settle into your job easily, set you up on top of the game, and create a habit that will benefit you both professionally and personally.
Entering the labor force is not the only option forward. If you have mad skills and have an ingenious idea for a business, why not give entrepreneurship a shot? Big success starts with small steps. Get your idea out there, find funding, and get your creative enterprise rolling. Your future is in your hands.
A positive outlook is the best weapon against confronting the often sobering reality of first-time job hunting. Rejection is a necessary part of the growth process. Every time a door slams no, rethink your strategy and see what you could have done better. From there, improve. Keep your motivation in high gear and never ever give up.