You’re done. You’re done with finals, you’re done with dining hall food, and you did your last walk of shame. It’s summer. Whether you already strutted your stuff to “Pomp and Circumstance” or if you’ll be back again next year, you’re ready to take on the world this summer. Only one small problem: you don’t have a job.
But don’t worry collegiettes™, according to an article in ABC News, the employment rate for college grads has dropped in 2012. And even better, Her Campus spoke to Jessica Kleiman, VP of Public Relations at Hearst Magazines and co-author of Be Your Own Best Publicist: How to Use PR Techniques to Get Noticed, Hired and Rewarded at Work, who offered advice to recent graduates on scoring a job after graduation. Read on to find out the best tips for landing a job post-grad, whether that’s now or in a couple years.
1. Connections, connections, connections
“It’s important to connect with as many people as you can,” Kleiman says. “Which means everything from leveraging your alumni organization to signing up for networking events in the industry.”
Networking and maintaining the relationships you make are vital in today’s job market. It’s important to keep in touch with anyone you meet, as you never know who may be able to help you in the future. For tips on how to make the most of your networking, check out this HC article.
Her Campus contributing writer Rachel Kossman, a recent Northeastern grad, scored a job at Tech Target.
“Network, network, network,” she says. “Today’s day and age is all about who you know and who you can meet.” She did an internship with her school’s co-op program at Tech Target and used that connection to land a job.
Of course, opportunities to network aren’t only limited to previous employment or designated “Network Nights” at your school. Be open to talking to anyone in your career path—whether it’s at your brother’s baseball game or your boyfriend’s graduation party—you never know who is able and willing to help you.
Read this HC article to find out how you can successfully network beyond the web.
Want to take your networking to the next level?
Make yourself a business card for networking using this guide.
2. Utilize informational interviews
One way to make these connections is by setting up and going on informational interviews. Kleiman explained informational interviews as a meeting with no real job attached to it, as a way to get your foot in the door. That way you’re able to better understand the company and the job, and you make the connection for the future. “You can ask them for advice for how to land a job at their company or at another company,” she says. “What it does is give people a chance to talk about what they do, but it also gives you an opportunity to get information.”
You can find people to contact for informational interviews by getting in touch with people you met in your networking experience or by asking people you already know—like friends or family—if they know anyone in your field of interest. An informational interview is a great way to make a first impression, establish your interest, and keep in touch.
Before you head in for your informational interview, be sure to peruse through HC’s complete guide to acing informational interviews.
3. Keep your résumé to only one page
“You want to keep your résumé to only one page, particularly if you just graduated from college,” Kleiman says. “There’s never any reason for someone who doesn’t have any full-time work experience to have a résumé that goes over a page. You really want to edit it down to the most important information.” For tips on making a killer resume, check out this HC article.
However, don’t underestimate how important that one page could be! Danielle Monsiegneura, recent graduate of University of Connecticut and current summer intern at Her Campus, knows the importance of a good résumé. “Take a good look at your résumé and really edit it to best market yourself,” she says. “Your résumé provides a strong representation not only of who you are as an employee but also as a person. A powerful résumé has the potential to create a great first impression.”
Try cutting your résumé down by editing it based on the job you’re applying for and by solely including the necessary experience. Be sure to keep your résumé as current as possible—you don’t need your clubs from high school when you've graduated from college!
For advice on making sure your résumé gets put on top of the pile, take a look at this HC article.
4. Utilize the Internet for networking
“If you’re a college graduate, and you’re not on LinkedIn, get on it,” Kleiman says. “Get on Twitter and follow people in your industry.”
Kleiman explained that social networking allows you not only to market yourself, but also to keep up with the latest trends in that particular company. For example, if you follow a magazine on Twitter, you’ll be able to comment on how you love their latest column or enjoyed a particular piece.
Shaina Dennis, a recent graduate of University of Maine who will soon begin working as marketing coordinator for Big Night Entertainment Group, agrees that maintaining relationships with connections you’ve met over the years is easier than ever with the rise of social media.
“With all of the upsurge of social media in society today, go out and make use of it,” she says. “Whether it be through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or even face-to-face communication, take advantage of who you know and who else they might know. I ended up getting my position through a connection on LinkedIn!”
Wonder what’s so great about LinkedIn? Shaina explains it here.
5. Be prepared
“Do your research, which these days is really easy to do,” Kleiman says. “Go on the company’s website, Google someone at the company, look at the masthead of the magazine, go on Twitter or LinkedIn and look up the company and see what you can find.”
There’s nothing worse than showing up to an interview unprepared. So do what you can to make sure you’re well-informed before going into an interview: this will show the company that you are the best candidate for the job. Kleiman explained that by using Twitter and other sites, you’ll not only be exposed to the basics but will also be able to impress your interviewer with your up-to-date knowledge of the company. Of course, your research doesn’t have to be limited to the web—if the company has a product, go buy it and experience it for yourself!
Also, don’t let intimidation get the best of you. Tape this pre-interview pep talk to your mirror before you head in for the big day.
School's over—the hard part is over. And just like your generic commencement speech said, you’re going to do great things. So now with the tips to score any job, what are you waiting for?
Jessica Kleiman, co-author of Be Your Own Best Publicist: How to Use PR Techniques to Get Noticed, Hired and Rewarded
Rachel Kossman, Northeastern ’11
Shaina Dennis, UMaine ’11
Danielle Monsiegneur, UConn ’11