Whether you just graduated college or high school and want to join the workforce, getting that first job can be a challenge. With many companies laying off seasoned professionals in the recent past, the employment prospect for recent graduates with little or no work experience can seem bleak at times. Finding a contract job is often a good way to get a foot in the door. Here are 5 tips that may help graduates start their career.
- Look for internship opportunities
- Go visit the Career Services department at your school
- Network purposefully (and professionally)
- Broaden your search criteria
- Keep developing job-worthy skills
If you didn’t intern in college, think about doing it after completing your graduation. You can find some contract jobs with no experience but you’ll have more options with one or two years of relevant experience, which you can get by interning.
It can be a great place to start hunting for a job – you’re sure to get your hands on tons of useful materials (from resume builders to guides on interviewing to contacts) for free! Moreover, it’s also the place where you may bump into your classmate who could be in the same situation as you. This brings us to our next tip…
1. Picture this: You’ve just graduated and you’re now busy letting your Facebook contacts know how much you enjoyed the big party you’d just gone to.
2. Now picture this: One of your peers is investing on building a solid professional network comprising fellow students (some who landed a job), teachers and the other people who can help with a recommendation when asked for.
Who’s more likely to land a job sooner?
Looking for a job in the hi-tech or pharmaceutical industry without much luck? You’re probably targeting very specific roles that you believe match your skills. Here the recommended approach would be to expand the search a little by including a few related job titles across multiple locations or, you can be open as far as titles go and just look for a job that you can do if you’re focusing on industry-specific work.
A college degree or diploma is just a piece of paper if you stop learning. Today’s companies value employees who’re willing to learn new skills and solve problems that aren’t addressed in labs or textbooks. Sometimes you may have to work really hard to be proficient in a new area of expertise, but it’ll be worth the effort in the end. Think about taking leadership skills classes or other certification courses to prove that you are always interested in learning and being the best you can be. It’ll impress hiring managers and help you move up faster in your career.