The ability to cope with pressure and develop job search skills isn’t something you're taught in school. If you haven’t thought about employment until the very last moment before graduation, you might find it even more difficult and stressful. If you are a dreamer, reality can pin you down really hard and make you lose focus.
However, in order to overcome any difficulties in the job hunt and take better advantage of the opportunities you are presented with, you must avoid making these 5 mistakes.
Not utilizing school resources
Although most students fully understand the benefits and the necessity of networking, many fail to surround themselves with true professionals who can help them in their pursuit of the career of their dreams. Underestimating the importance of alumni organizations and school career centers often isolates students from the best opportunities and puts them under more pressure.
These career offices can help you write and revise a stellar resume or cover letter, prepare you for upcoming interviews, or even connect you with individuals from your field of interest. They might not find you a job, but they can prepare you for the quest. There isn’t a single reason why you shouldn’t take advantage of these organizations and create your own opportunity.
Always listen to the wise word of someone who has already attained the success you strive for, because their journey wasn’t easy and they’ll give you the best insider tips. Their careers and moves differ from the path you'll take, but there are certain common and applicable characteristics that made them successful.
2. Not applying for enough jobs
The more high quality, well-researched applications you send and the more interviews you land, the faster you'll land your first job. Don’t just wait for a call back. Be proactive and always seek possible alternatives, or make the effort to follow up with employers. Doing this can land you more than one job offer, and you will eventually be able to choose the best possible option. Even though it can be discouraging to get rejected over and over, learning to accept it won’t slow down the job pursuit, and will instead teach you how to adapt your job search to become more attractive to employers.
3. Underestimating the power of LinkedIn
As the biggest and most important business-related social media platform, LinkedIn is a powerful tool for any job hunter. It helps you connect with professionals and organizations that can jumpstart your career. Your LinkedIn profile is an online resume, which is why it must be complete and thorough, with highlighted skills, points of interests and accomplishments. It also must correspond with your resume so that your online presence presents a unified front with your job application.
Another great feature of this social media platform is the possibility to reach out and find a direct contact inside the company you’ve applied for. Send a message and show your interest, and you may just start to stand out from that pile of resumes. Ask smart questions rather than simply asking for a job, and you might find yourself with a great conversation.
As a senior college student, you must learn to use social media networks effectively, and soon enough you will be spending more time on LinkedIn than on Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube.
4. Failing to create network
Besides school centers, alumni associations, and LinkedIn, one of the best way to create strong relationships with important professionals is through an internship. As a senior, contributing to a company's progress as an intern can open you a lot of doors, as you will be able to get references and acquaintances that can speed up the career pursuit.
Landing the internship isn't enough. You need to work hard to stand out. If you do, you can be recognized as someone with potential and the ability to make a difference. Once you achieve this, you will be able to create strong bonds with your supervisors and start climbing up the corporate ladder. Don’t be too shy to reach out when you graduate for advice, reference letters, and even job opportunities.
5. Failing to do thorough research
The most common interview advice is to have a lot of great questions for your interviewer. In order to be prepared to ask these questions, you need to perform detailed research on the company. Visit their website, try to find something more about them, and make sure the answers to your questions aren’t already answered online. Otherwise, all these unnecessary questions will have the exact opposite effect on your interviewer.
You need to be able to highlight your abilities and potentials if you want them to be seen. Don’t just wait for employers to choose your resume from a bunch of others and recognize your potential on their own. In order to stand out and make them believe you can make a difference, you need to stay persistent and be proactive in reaching your goals.
Make your own opportunities by taking advantage of all the resources you have at your disposal. Build your professional network, make your first steps in the world of entrepreneurship by showing your interests, keep expanding your skills, and show your dedication.