I never truly thought the day would come that I would receive my college degree and step into the full-time job world. It’s overwhelming, exciting and overall a mixed bag of emotions and hardships. Job searching can be stressful, but in the end, determines a large portion of your life. Here are seven ways to make your hunt a little easier and more successful.

  1. Know your resources

There are so many useful tools on the internet designed to assist you in your job search. However, they’re unhelpful if you don’t know which ones to use and how to use them. To name a few: Indeed, MediaBistro, JournalismJobs.com, District Daybook, The Heritage Foundation Job Bank, LinkedIn and Glassdoor. These websites will generate job openings based on your interests and offer an application button right then and there. Going through a staffing agency is also an option if you can’t quite get the hang of the process.

  1. Reach out to your personal network

Many hires are the outcome of personal connections. They know your character and already have a good idea of how you’d work as a full-time employee. Chances are, if you’ve completed even one internship or job role, you already have a wide range of connections. Make a list of individuals you previously connected with who would be willing to help you in your search.

  1. Utilize LinkedIn to the fullest

LinkedIn is possibly one of the best tools for professionals. It allows you to potentially connect with anyone you want. This is great if you wish to connect with people in your industry who have experience doing what you want to do. There are several helpful features on LinkedIn, including an “Open Candidates” option, which lets recruiters know that you’re looking for a job. Aim to be clear, concise and to the point with your descriptions in addition to being active on the site. Incomplete profiles are a definite turnoff. Ensure that your experience is consistent with your resume and your profile is top-notch. This includes making it professional, pleasing to look at and easy to maneuver.

  1. Update your social media accounts

Employers are almost guaranteed to search candidates on the web. If you’d be satisfied with employers seeing your social media posts and photos, you’re set. Don’t assume that anything is private from the public eye. It is appropriate to show off your personality on social media as long as it is kept to a degree of professionalism. If your accounts are clean and up to date, others will know that you’re mature and on top of the game.

  1. Perfect your resume and cover letter

Your resume – the most important piece of the puzzle. When I say that your resume should be perfect, this is not an exaggeration. Employers receive a mass amount of applications and they deserve to be picky. No spelling errors or grammar mistakes are acceptable, so triple check before you hit send. If you want a second pair of eyes, consult a resume specialist or editor. Additionally, ensure that your resume and cover letter are tailored to each job you apply for. It’s not a “one size fits all.” If you want the job, you have to put in the work and let the employer why you’re the best one for the position.

  1. Start as soon as possible

It is recommended by many to begin the job search process long before you graduate. While your graduation date should be disclosed, it never hurts to be ahead of the game and have a plan for post-grad. Apply to everything that may be of interest to you, even if the job description isn’t exactly what you’re looking for at the moment. Any experience in your desired field is good experience as you will have the opportunity to network and learn. Do not pass off jobs that don’t originally catch your eye – you may be surprised.

  1. Etiquette is not dead

Proper etiquette will never go out of style. After an interviews or meeting for a potential job offer, send a thank you note immediately. Express your gratitude and hold the utmost respect for employers, regardless of the outcome. This will speak volumes about your character and at the end of the day, your impression, whether or not you are right for the job, will last forever.

It is important not to allow closed doors to bring you down. Look at each closed door as one step closer to being where you’re meant to be in the job sphere. You may have to complete a hundred job applications before getting an offer, but if you put in the work, you’ll get far in the long run.

Jennifer D.
Jennifer Duplessie is a senior at Texas A&M University pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science. After graduation, she hopes to pursue a career in political communications incorporating her passion for writing and photography.

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