You know what they say about the early bird catching the worm? Something similar holds true for new college graduates and the best jobs. According to the employment-oriented Web site LinkedIn, if you haven’t secured a post-college job before graduation, the sweet spot for snagging your first position as a career professional is between April and June.
Ironically, that’s the same time period during which 65 percent of the Class of 2018 plans to “take it easy.” The slackers believe “#ItWillWorkOut” whenever they happen to be ready, reports the Tylt, a social polling and opinion platform that focuses on millennials.
So it’s up to you, grad. Have your choice of jobs now, or choose from the leftovers later.
Regardless, one action plan is to get busy on WayUp.com, a job search platform and mobile app geared specifically toward helping recent grads without much work experience land positions.
“Unlike LinkedIn, which centers around your professional profile, job history and extended professional network,” — which new graduates don’t yet have — “WayUp showcases your personality and why you stand out,” says WayUp CEO Liz Wessel.
WayUp profile pages are modular, allowing job seekers to feature sections like fun (personal) facts, passions, gigs/freelance, volunteer work, hobbies and video, as well as professional portfolios (links to photos or images on Instagram or samples of code on GitHub).
It also helps to know where your major can take you. A recent study by LinkedIn reveals that your college major may qualify you for jobs you didn’t consider. People with degrees in marketing often get hired as recruiters. Communications majors can end up in marketing and production roles. Psychology majors win entry-level jobs as research assistants, administrative assistants and case managers. “Think outside the classroom,” says Blair Decembrele, LinkedIn’s career expert.
Now is also the time to catch up on the career preparation you missed in college. According to a 2017 survey by Gallup and the Strada Education Network, more than one-third of college students have never visited their campus career services office. That’s something that Don Philabaum, president and CEO of student-career-services firm TalentMarks, finds catastrophic. “Students go to college to increase their employability, yet many leave without the tools to get a job.”
Experts have one tip for all job seekers: Don’t spend more than 20 percent of your time applying for jobs on Internet job sites — 80 percent of us get jobs through someone we know.
Employers also value soft skills almost as much as hard skills, says millennial employment expert Bruce Tulgan, author of “Bridging the Soft Skills Gap: How to Teach the Missing Basics to Today’s Young Talent” (Wiley). Teamwork tops the list. Tulgan suggests pulling an example from real life, showing that you understand your place and how you contribute to the team. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, he says.
“If you play ball and you play shortstop, talk about how you contribute to the team by playing your position, not about fielding a ball in right field,” Tulgan says. “If you had a job moving boxes in a warehouse, explain where that role fits into the bigger picture.”
If you’re going to take time off, don’t stay idle too long, says Dan Schawbel, a millennial workplace expert and the author of the forthcoming “Back to Human: How Great Leaders Create Connection in the Age of Isolation” (Da Capo, out in November). “Corporations tend to hire people who are passionate about their work,” he says. So if you can’t find a job right away, learn a useful skill that you can teach yourself, pick up from a friend, or learn via a free or reasonably priced course online.
Schawbel suggests something that’s high in demand like computer programming, social media, Web site development or even artificial intelligence if you’re really ambitious. Once you are done, find a freelance job using the skill.
“You’ll look like a passive job seeker to employers, which is better than being unemployed, and you’ll be earning some income to pay your bills,” he says.
These tips will help you stand out from the competition:
Use a profile picture and make it perfect
Your LinkedIn profile acts as your virtual handshake and professionals with a profile picture receive up to 21 times more views,” says LinkedIn career expert Blair Decembrele. “Make sure your photo reflects your profession — skip the cat photos unless you are a vet.”
Write a thank-you note
Sending a thank-you e-mail within 12 hours [of the interview] is my top recommendation,” says Wessel. If you want to really impress your prospective employer, she suggests hand delivering a written note the next day. “Don’t worry about coming off as too desperate — you’re a recent grad, and they know you want the job,” she says.
Flexibility may be your point of entry
The competition for jobs in a densely populated area like New York can be tough. “If possible, try not to be too picky about where you work from a location perspective,” says Wessel. “Lots of great companies are hiring in locations you may never expect, and sometimes, you just need to enter the door in that location, work your way up, and then after a year or two, you can likely make the argument for moving to an office that you’d rather be in.”
Date Posted: Sunday, May 27th, 2018 , Total Page Views: 617
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