Summary: Entering the job market after graduation can feel like a daunting task, but with the right level of preparation, you can come out on top.
The transition from a structured academic life into the uncertainty of the job hunt and corporate landscape can be a journey full of twists and turns. But, much like gearing up for a cross-country roadtrip, there are tried and true strategies that will help you arrive at your destination quickly and efficiently. If you’re getting ready to enter the wild world of career-seeking, here are some ways to make a first impression, land some early wins, and play up to your strengths. Let’s dive in!
Consider Unique Spin-offs of Your Education and Skills
First, it’s key to understand the applications of your degree. For example, you may have majored in communications, but where do you want to end up? For those that enjoy working with applications and websites, a UX Writer or UX Content Specialist role could be the right fit. If writing isn’t your thing but you love all things relating to social media and press releases, a position in corporate communications could be right up your alley.
If you’re still unsure about what potential careers interest you, consider taking a career self-assessment quiz. Answer a few quick questions about yourself and your results will recommend potential careers based on your interests and abilities. Learn how you can get the most out of your career self-assessment and bring yourself even closer to landing your dream job.
From there, it’s important to understand the terrain of the current job market. What industries are booming? Which companies align with your values? Online job boards like Tallo can help you gain valuable insights into a company’s culture and learn about employees’ experiences at the company.
Communicate Your Story and Craft Your Personal Brand
Now that you have a rough idea of your ideal role and industry, it’s finally time to start preparing your materials. Here’s a quick round-up of the essentials that are standard across most industries and give you a chance to showcase what you bring to the table:
- Professional and social media profiles: Any public-facing profiles should get an editorial review and be updated to put your best foot forward while retaining all of the content that showcases your personality.
- Resume: Look over your current resume/CV to tailor your skills, active certifications, and works experience to the jobs you’re applying for. For example, if you’ve decided to start applying for management roles, you should detail any past projects or initiatives where you managed a team of people or were a key stakeholder in bringing the project to the finish line.
- Portfolio: A well-constructed digital portfolio doesn’t just show employers your past projects and experiences. It also provides them with key information about your process and professional journey. When updating your portfolio, give recruiters insight into the challenges you faced and the strategies you employed to overcome them. This not only showcases the final product but your overall critical thinking skills and problem-solving abilities.
Remember, it’s not just about showcasing etrics and your skills, it’s also about effectively communicating your story.
Get Your Foot in the Door
Finally, it’s time to get connected and start applying. A strong network of friends and folks in your industry makes all the difference. Most major cities host university alumni gatherings, industry seminars, and job fairs but it can be as simple as reaching out to professionals on the Tallo Community and asking about their experiences in your desired field.
Need a conversation to kick off an outreach email or in-mail? These are just a few ways to strike up a conversation with someone in an industry you’d like to be in or network with professionals you respect and would like to get to know (these are just examples, simply switch out the details to customize it for your communication).
- “Hello! My name is Jane, and I am a recent grad of University of Iowa. I recently read your column about AI and how it’s changing the healthcare horizon. If you have the time, could I ask you a few questions about your column?”
- “[Name], I hope you’re doing well! My name is Carlos and I’m currently studying computer science at the University of California, Berkeley. I was interested in hearing about your experience graduating from UC Berkeley and finding work as a systems engineer in the area? How did you go about finding work after graduation?”
- “Hello! I recently found your design portfolio online and I really enjoyed reading about your web development process. How did you learn to code by yourself and are there any resources you’d recommend for someone who’s just getting started?”
If you may not land the job right away, that’s okay! Patience is key in the job hunt with each interview and application giving you the opportunity to hone your skills and improve your materials. Remember that every time you hit
“Apply,” you’re brought yourself one step closer to landing your dream role.