To the roughly 1.6 million college graduates in the class of 2014: You have my heartiest congratulations — and my sympathies. I graduated during the early 1990s recession when finding a decent job was very difficult, so I have an inkling of the challenges many of you now face.
Although the job-search technology available has changed considerably since then (more on that below), as someone who is now on the other side of screening candidates, I can tell you many of the underlying principles for waging a successful search remain the same. Let me share a few:
Stand out from the crowd. You’ll probably be competing with dozens, if not hundreds, of applicants for most jobs, so:
- Tailor your resume and cover letter to highlight education, skills and experience relevant to the position — check out Monster’s Resume Center for writing tips.
- If your work history is brief, play up education highlights, volunteer or internship positions, awards, organizational memberships, etc.
- Have strong references — and make sure they’re willing to speak or write a letter of recommendation on your behalf.
- Proofread everything carefully and ask a trusted acquaintance to review. (Typos and poor grammar don’t instill confidence.)
Do your homework. Before applying, research the company to make sure it’s a good fit. If you do get called for an interview, kick it up a notch:
- Make sure you understand the company’s products, services and customer base and prepare several questions along those lines.
- Examine their business structure and how your potential department fits in. (Hopefully their website includes an organization chart.)
- Research competitors so you understand the business environment in which they operate.
- Investigate their social media presence for clues on how they interact with customers.
Source: Huffington Post | Jason Alderman