Congratulations, you did it! After what seemingly felt like an eternity, you find yourself walking across that glorious stage on graduation day, and in that very moment, you are on top of the world. No more waking up at the crack of dawn to get to class, final exams are done and over with, and you no longer have to worry about being taken out by a hoverboard while trying to get from point A to point B on campus. Life is fantastic. But, wait a second. Reality slowly starts to set in, and you realize that you are now unemployed. Welcome to the real world! As terrifying as it sounds, anything is possible with a little hard work and perseverance. Here are a couple of tips to help you score your dream job after graduation:
1. Spruce up your resume.
If you haven’t updated your resume since 2012, it’s probably in your best interest to do so. A resume template is a great place to start! Microsoft Word offers basic templates free of charge, but you can also pay a small fee to buy them through websites such as Creative Market or Etsy. When constructing the format of your resume, it’s imperative to make sure that it fits your niche. If you are a political science major hoping to get accepted into law school, a classic, clean-cut resume is the way to go. Looking to break into the realm of graphic design? Then by all means, use your resume to showcase your creativity. Just make sure you’ve incorporated the most important details, including your contact information, education, and recent work history.
2. Write a killer cover letter.
Employers want to know how you will be of value to the company and what makes you unique from the rest of the crowd. Chances are, whoever is screening your resume is probably going to be taking a look at quite a few of them. Include any personal and/or work accomplishments that you feel might help improve your chances of getting the position. Don’t be afraid to let your personality shine!
3. Own your interview.
First impressions are everything. Walk into the room with your head held high, a smile on your face, and ready to sell your expertise. An interview is a two-way street, so make sure the interviewer isn’t the only one doing the talking. It’s also a good idea to have at least one or two questions to ask the employer at the end of the interview. This shows you that you have a genuine interest in their company, and ultimately gives you a better chance at getting the position. If you’ve scored the chance to interview for your dream job, you’re already halfway there.
4. Don’t forget to say ‘Thank you’.
This is a fundamental aspect of the job-hunting process, but unfortunately, many people often shrug it off. Ten times out of ten, you should conduct a follow-up email to the interviewer, thanking them for their time and reiterating why you are ideal for the position. I know of instances where employers have turned down the perfect candidate for the job, simply because they did not take the time to send a thank you email. It’s an incredibly simple gesture and shouldn’t take any longer than a few minutes to write.
5. Stop doubting yourself.
Even if you don’t believe you are one hundred percent qualified for a position, go for the gusto and apply anyway. If you think about it, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Your skills and personality might be exactly what the employer is looking for, despite your lack of experience in the work force. You never know until you try!
Remember that no matter where you end up, you are destined for greatness. The perfect job is out there somewhere, and it’s up to you to find it and seize it. Don’t let yourself get discouraged if you aren’t able to acquire it right away! Making sure you are adequately prepared, taking risks, and most importantly, believing in yourself, will ultimately set you up for success and help you land your dream job after graduation.