Maybe you are one of those who got off campus without using the career center, career advisers or connecting to all your professors on LinkedIn.
It’s ok, you’ll just need to create a different process than you would have on campus.
Recently a grad came to me and was all jazzed about getting into the job search game now that he was out of university.
He was all over job boards, and sending out letters on a pretty random basis, and using one basic resume for all his job searches.
There didn’t seem to be a lot of direction, focus or forethought to his process. I thought, wow, if all grads are doing it this way, small wonder there’s an unemployment problem!
And, if you are working that way, it’s no wonder you might feel frustrated, hopeless and thinking about plan B.
Set your self up for success before you ever send out a resume, submit an application, or schedule an interview!
Now that you’re out of school, you don’t have the community and camaraderie of the campus from which to draw strength for the job search conversation. So, you’ll have to create that momentum on your own. You can also join (or start) a job search group that might be helpful.
In any event, before you go running off and applying to jobs every which way but loose, do a quick inventory and see if you have all the tools you need for your job search in place.
Take this quick checkup to see if you are ready to hit the bricks. Answer yes or no to the following statements:
_____ I have set up my own “professional” email address (not a school address or a email@example.com address)
_____ I have a professional voicemail message on my mobile phone that lets callers know who they’ve reached, and when I’ll call them back.
_____ I have a complete inventory of my work experiences, including volunteer work, student jobs, internships, entrepreneurial ventures (eBay or Etsy store, or the like), school projects and student athlete experiences.
_____ I have a complete inventory of my life experiences; different places I may have traveled and lived, unique characteristics and qualities that might make me interesting to a prospective employer or uniquely qualify me for a certain kind of job as a result.
_____ I have identified my interests, passions, and areas that I would like to learn more about.
_____ I have inventoried my transferable skills, my strengths, my work style, and I’ve gotten feedback from others on what they see as my strengths, and my areas to develops.
_____ I have identified the qualities I most desire in a workplace, including size of organization, location, work hours, culture, social responsibility and more.
_____ I know the top 20 – 25 companies I will target based on my interests, area of study, and desired qualities.
_____ I have done a ton of research on each company so I really know these are good target companies for me. Bonus: I can ask good questions in the interviews I get.
_____ I’ve mapped out my job search strategy to track my activities and results; including goals I’ll set for each day to work toward finding desired employment.
_____ I’ve created a basic resume which I’ll customize for each job I consider.
_____ I have a good cover letter outlined and ready to customize for each job application I submit.
_____ I’ve crafted my LinkedIn profile using the keywords that will appeal to the employers/jobs I want to pursue.
_____ I’ve researched the basic interview questions and have 7 to 10 good behavioral interview stories to share my qualities.
_____ I’ve researched the outlandish interview questions and have a sense for how I’ll respond when asked the likes of “Why are manholes round?”
_____ I’ve connected to everyone I know, and then some, on LinkedIn, and I’m up to speed on the etiquette of asking for introductions.
_____ I’ve mapped out my other social media job search strategies, including blogs, social media profiles, twitter, other sharing sites, and more.
_____ I’ve identified the people who I’d like to be connected to who might be able to give me guidance or information in my search.
_____ I have a goal for connecting with a certain number of people each day to support my search.
_____ I understand that when people give me their time, they are giving me an invaluable resource. I know how structure and manage networking meetings that are respectful and productive.
_____ I have a goal for what kind of job I’d like, and the time by which I will secure it.
_____ I have a stash of coffee cards, and thank you notes in my desk drawer for all of the conversations I will have.
Ok, how did you do? If you answered NO to 5 or more of these statements, chances are you are gong to be roaming the proverbial desert in the job search process. Your prescription: Get your plan together first, then work your plan!
Are you job search ready? Leave a comment and share what ideas helped you get ready!
If you are really feeling lost and needing help, check out the job search support we can provide: