In this week’s Make Money Monday feature for job seekers, PennySaverUSA.com focuses on helping recent and soon-to-be graduates get a job.
While the job market is improving, this is still a tough time for anyone to get a job, especially those just beginning their careers. That said, there are some things you can do to improve your chances and here are some how-to tips on what it takes to get a job as a new graduate.
Perhaps the most important step new grads can take to get a job is starting their search early. Sites like nowhired.com have some good job listings, and if you haven’t yet, make sure to check out the PennySaverUSA.com job listings.
Also, don’t give up if you don’t find exactly the position you are seeking. PennySaverUSA.com employee Helen Chiu graduated in 2010 and was able to get a job with us shortly thereafter. She said, “You may notice that there aren’t too many entry-level jobs posted or advertised. You can still research the companies that are hiring and visit their own jobs board, like the one for PennySaverUSA.com.”
Once you have found a few places and positions in which you would like to get a job, you have to work on your resume and prepare yourself for the application process.
“I consulted my mentors (career & academic) for resume help and general interview advice. It helped me gain confidence and not come off as completely inexperienced,” Chiu said.
“Take advantage of office time with teaching assistants, college counselors, and even your professors so you can get comfortable talking about yourself in an interview situation.”
If you are worried about your lack of professional experience, just play up your internship and club experience (and get an internship or join a club, if you’ve never done either). Employers will be impressed by your contributions and commitment, regardless if the position you were in was paid.
Another vital tip to remember when trying to get a job as a recent grad is to stay focused on all the details. Potential employers want to know you are ready to be a professional and understand the proper etiquette. By mastering the subtleties, like researching a company’s history and structure prior to an interview and following up with a thank you note following an interview, you will separate you from the pack and signal to an employer that you are ready to join their team.
Finally, don’t be afraid to apply for positions that are not directly related to your major. Chiu admitted her current job with PennySaverUSA.com didn’t match up exactly to her area of study, but it didn’t prevent her from being able to get a job here.
Enjoy your memorable graduation moment and good luck when it comes time to get a job!