Finding a job out of college (or ever) can be a difficult thing to do. There are so many jobs out there it can be overwhelming. As a senior in college graduating in a few months, I am in the process of trying to find a job. And let me tell you, it’s not an easy thing to do. Since I know how difficult it can be, I’ve compiled some suggestions I’ve learned searching for a job so far.
Decide What You Want
Before you think about actually looking for a job, take some time to decide what you are looking for. Make a list of the ideal job responsibilities you would want, the ones you absolutely wouldn’t want and the ones you’d prefer not to have, but could live with. Think about things you have enjoyed learning about and doing so far. While you may not find a job description that perfectly matches your list, it will make weeding through the choices a little bit easier.
Once you have these lists completed spend some time making a list of 15-20 places you would be interested in working. All of the places don’t have to be hiring, just do some research, think about what you’ve heard, and go from there. Your list will give you a basis for what you’re looking for.
Active Job Hunting
One way to go about finding a job is actively looking for one. Go to websites such as Indeed and LinkedIn to find leads. When you find a job you like go to the company website and apply directly.
Before applying though, consider reaching out to someone within the company. Ask them about their job and tell them your interests. Don’t immediately jump to telling them you want a job. It’s more important to build a relationship then to find someone in the company who you think can help you get hired.
Once you find a job and have reached out to someone, see about talking to Human Resources. Find out more about the position you are considering applying for and even ask about other positions available in the company.
Passive Job Hunting
Besides actively applying for jobs, you can also look for jobs without actually applying anywhere. Most jobs are posted with someone to fill the position already in mind. That means one of the best ways to get hired is to be on the short list of people already being considered.
If you wanted to hire someone, or even go to a new place, think about what you would do. A lot of times we’ll ask friends if they have any suggestions. The same goes for employers. The more people you know in the area where you are applying for a job, the more likely it is one of them will remember you when asked if they have any suggestions for someone to fill a position. Reach out to people in positions you want, regardless of whether or not their company is hiring and ask them about what they do.
Be appreciative of their time and ask meaningful questions. After you have spoken with them, follow up in the next couple of weeks and show you are still thinking about them. You want to make sure they are aware of you without being annoying.
Create a Spreadsheet
As you’re job hunting, create a spreadsheet. Put the names of all of the positions you have applied for and important information about them, people you have or want to connect with and other relevant information. That way you’ll have an up to date record of everything happening in your job search.
Feel free to create several categories on your spreadsheet and add as many categories as you need. The goal of the spreadsheet is to give you a place to look and keep track of your job searching.