Lauren Smith, Staff Writer
Graduating college, moving into a new apartment or home and finally never having to worry about taking an exam again are all major signs of moving up and becoming an official adult. However, the freedoms of adulthood don’t come without their drawbacks, and one that many college students nearing the end of their education fear is the dreaded job search. Not all of us can be so lucky to be handed a picture perfect position right out of college, but with the right amount of effort and assistance, you CAN land a great job that you’ll be proud of, possibly even before you graduate! So without further ado, here are a few tips for job searching and standing out in the applicant pool!
- Take advantage of your Career Center: Amazingly enough, Florida Southern’s Career Center, a service available to all students for free, is left untouched by many students all the way through their college career. The Career Center is there to help students be prepared for a job search, and even offers services that help them find the right career for them. Participate in events such as “Moc Interview,” which is a practice interview with a professional that gives the student valuable feedback on their interviewing skills. They also offer help building resumes and cover letters, which are both extremely important during the job search process. It’s highly recommended to make a visit to the career center at least a couple times during your college career, no matter if you’re a senior or a freshman!
- Know where to look: Many students admit they just don’t know where to begin searching when it comes to finding a job. Luckily, the perks of being a 21 century student is that we have numerable job search resources available to us. LinkedIn, a social media platform for professionals, is a great place to search for jobs. Just type what kind of job you are looking for and where in the search box and LinkedIn will bring the jobs directly to you! For example, if you are a marketing major interested in the Orlando area, you would type “marketing jobs in Orlando, FL.” The best part is, LinkedIn will even let you know if you have connections for certain jobs through LinkedIn friends. There are also many other online job search platforms such as Glassdoor, Indeed, Monster, Simply Hired, ZipRecruiter and many more! Don’t forget to also talk to your professors if they know anyone who might have a position open related to your major.
- Don’t Place All Your Marbles In One Basket: This means, in job search terms, don’t apply to one job at a time and then sit and wait to hear back from them. Not only does this prolong your search, but you could miss out on some potentially great opportunities as well. Instead, you should be applying to many jobs at once. If you find a job that you believe you could like, it’s related to your major and it’s located in the area you would like to work, go ahead and apply for it, even if it’s not your first choice. For a successful job search, you should be applying to more than three jobs at once. Just make sure you write down which ones you have applied for, what date you applied and keep track so you know when to contact them. The more applications you send out to potential employers, the greater your chances of receiving a response will be. Of course, just sending out an application alone is not enough to stand out to employers. This leads us into our next tip…
- Do What You Can to Stand Out…Without Being a Nuisance: In today’s job market, dozens of people could be applying for the same positon you are, so it’s more important to find ways to stand out more than ever. Of course, you should be calling the employer 7-10 days after applying for the job to ask if they would like to see some of your work or to ask for an interview. If the initial phone call gets the typical response, which is, “I’ll take a look at your application and get back to you if you seem to be a good fit,” then wait another week before sending the employer an email to just follow up. Don’t call or send an email every day, as this could annoy the employer, but don’t wait too long either. As mentioned before, every 7-10 days should suffice. Also, just to add a few more feathers to your cap, try doing something that not very many applicants will be doing. For example, print out samples (writing, art, advertising, etc.) from your portfolio, attach a professional letter to it and send it to the employer. Not only will this help the employer get a better idea of what you can do, they could also be very impressed that you took the time to write a letter and send them your work. Be creative and do what you believe represents you and your work the best.
- Don’t Get Discouraged: It’s easy to become discouraged if you have been job searching for a while and have had no luck, get turned down for a job you interviewed for or your first choice position got handed to someone else. Just remember to stay confident and keep going! Like anything else in life, never give up on the things you want, believe in yourself and know you CAN do it! The right opportunity will arrive!
Godspeed, you beautiful job hunters!