When I graduated from college, I didn’t have a job offer. I was five months into a six month interview process, that seemed hopeful, but I had nothing in writing when my name was called. I was scared sh!#less about having to go back to my first job flipping burgers at McDonald’s. I mostly thought about how I let my parents down and what a loser I was for being unemployable after all this time studying. Magnu cum laude didn’t stand for anything. It was a scary feeling.
Jobless in June, I decided to visit my good friend who was studying abroad in Japan. I had nothing better to do than to wait my fate. I wasn’t about to stay at home miserable, twiddling my thumbs. Instead, I wanted to visit Tokyo and the outer areas where one of my best friends roamed. They say the best cure for worry is to keep busy. Staying busy is what I did.
After a month of traveling around and following up once a week, I got an e-mail from human resources asking me to come in and do one final screening. Crap, I wasn’t in the States, but in Asia I told them. She laughed it off and told me not to worry. She would be sending me a provisional offer letter via e-mail that I would have to sign and fax back to her. The job was mine, provided I pass the drug test when I returned. Oh boy, time to put away the bong! Just kidding. I would never condone the smoking of something natural. Only the chemically infused tobacco cigarettes should be allowed given how much lobbying money they spend on our government!
TIPS FOR GETTING A JOB AFTER COLLEGE
Getting a job is like winning the lottery. No matter what job you end up getting, know that many people have applied before you and didn’t get the offer. Therefore, don’t ever take your job for granted. Despite an improving economic environment, it still seems landing a job is quite challenging with some saying the unemployment rate for those 25 and under is close to 50%. The following are some tips for getting a job after college.
* Have the most updated resume. You always want to have the most recent resume in hand to fire off if anybody asks. Please read, “Examples of Good Resumes That Get Jobs” to improve your resume format and content. This is the most basic weapon you need for your quest for employment. Next up, develop your interview skills. After interviewing over 300 candidates over the past decade, I’ve put together some interview tips for you all, from a hiring manager’s point of view.
* Seek advice from professors. Professors have more connections than you can imagine. Hopefully through your college days, you’ve developed a close relationship with a couple more seasoned professors who can help pass your name to prospective employers. Remember, great professors tend to have great students over the years who become important people. Take your professors out for a lunch and seek their advice.
* Swallow your pride and ask those who got jobs for help. It’s really hard to speak to, let alone be in the same room with someone who has a job offer when you don’t. You naturally detest their very existence, but know that this feeling is counterproductive. Instead, congratulate them for their success and ask them if they can introduce you to one of their company’ recruiters. The recruiter is excited for landing this individual, and may very well be asking their new hire for any other recommendations.
* Leverage social media and the internet. There are online job boards everywhere. Applying online becomes a numbers game, hence you need to send out as many personalized e-mails and handsome applications as possible. The reality is, most people get jobs either because they are just so outstanding on paper, or because they have connections. As a result, you need to leverage your friends on FB, LinkedIn, and Twitter with direct questions and calls for help. Again, swallow your pride. Everybody knows it’s tough getting a job out there. Recollect all the times you’ve helped out your friends, and just be very frank and ask them if they know of any leads. Also, make sure to clean up all those risque pictures and ridiculous profiles on Facebook!
* Identify booming industries and hot locations. You should know that the San Francisco Bay Area is on fire, because there’s a big social media bubble brewing with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and the like. Therefore, you should direct your job seeking efforts towards Northern California. The influx of capital is spreading out to all industries such as private equity, hospitality, retail, and real estate. You have plenty of choices, and not just the Internet sector. It’s important not to pigeon hole yourself into one area. Studying a major that features a broad range of potential career paths is also a good idea, as it allows you to identify a number of different booming industries and hot locations. You can then apply in each of these industries and, in some cases, choose the career and location that best suits you. Earning a broad degree also provides you with the chance to make more money because you can apply in many different industries and then sell your services to the highest bidder. You are never trapped when you go in this direction because you will always have other options.
* Lock down your finances. You are in survival mode now as you’re expected to be a grown adult who is self sufficient. As a result, don’t spend money on anything extraneous! In fact, go ahead and sell your non-essential belongings to raise funds and simply your ability to move to wherever the job market takes you. The less things you have post graduation, the better you will feel about yourself. You’ll be amazed at the liberating feeling of being able to pack everything in a couple suitcases and relocating at a moment’s notice.
* Swallow more pride. Living back at home in your mom’s basement isn’t a shameful thing anymore. It’s become as normal as meeting someone online. In fact, some studies show that 80% of college graduates in 2011 plan to move back home with the parents. You shouldn’t be spending any more money than you have to after graduation. Setting up Job Hunt HQ at mom’s house is perfectly normal. Just don’t forget to do your laundry, make your bed, clean the house, and make sure you get out of your parent’s way!
DON’T GIVE UP
Some of you are here because you’ve always known you’ve never wanted to work the “9-to-5″ track. Hence, this post not might matter as much. For others, if statistics are true, some of you really want to go the traditional route but just can’t get in after college due to whatever reason and are forced unto the untemplater lifestyle. Believe it or not, there are tons of jobs out there that pay well, provide a tremendous amount of stability, and are very enjoyable.
You may not find your dream job on the first or second attempt or even know what you want to do with your life right when you graduate and that’s okay. Every application, interview, internship, and opportunity teaches us new things and opens new doors. Whatever your case may be, sooner or later, know that you will find an employer who values you as much as you value them. Make sure you create a plan of attack, and regularly follow up with your contacts and submissions. You can’t just let things come to you. You’ve got to be focused in the pursuit of for employment. It’s those who stay relentless who succeed!
Readers, how’s the job market for recent college graduates? Do people quit jobs they love? Have you been forced into the life of entrepreneurship out of choice or freewill? Any other tips you have?