It’s been a little bit more than a month since most of us graduated from school.
If you haven’t found a job yet, stop banging your head against the wall and take a few steps back to reevaluate what you’re doing. More than likely, you’re so bogged down with the insignificant details that you aren’t considering the big picture.
I was lucky enough to snag a job, but I know plenty of people that haven’t yet. Here’s what I’ve learned from their mistakes.
1. Make your resume stand out
Your resume may be your only way of expressing yourself to future employers, so take it seriously. Don’t just steal some template off the Internet – customize it and design it to fit your unique needs. You don’t have to be a professional graphic designer to do this. It’s incredibly easy to create resumes in Microsoft Word. Also, get someone to proofread. There’s nothing more embarrassing than confusing your its and it’s on a resume. Make sure everything reads well and is written in a concise manner. Nobody’s going to waste time with your verbosity.
2. Apply for jobs where you have a connection
Sending out hundreds of job applications through the Internet isn’t going to get you anywhere. Try to contact places where you’ve interned previously or other people you know in your industry. If you’re applying for jobs online, you better bet that thousands of others are too. You’re a lot more likely to get hired if they can put a face with your name. Every single internship or job I’ve found has been because I met and networked with people. Try it.
3. Find a focus and stick with it
If you don’t know exactly what you want to do, you’re probably not going to find a job if you’re just spitting out resumes at any company that’s hiring. If you have even the slightest interest in something, try to find something specific to focus on. Even if you have to take an unpaid internship or two to get some experience in your field, at least you’re pursing a career that you like.
4. Show what makes you valuable
Throughout everything you do, including your resume and interviews, you have to prove not only that you’re a good candidate, but that you would be a valuable addition to the company. On your resume, include bullet points that describe your previous jobs/internships and what you did to improve the organization. Try to be as specific as you can and use numbers, if possible. Be prepared with specific examples of what you’ve done to discuss in your interview – the more specific, the better.
5. Create a presence online
If you don’t have a Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn account by now, it’s no wonder you haven’t found a job yet. Having experience with social media is important for practically any job. You don’t have to be an expert, but if you don’t even try, it reflects poorly on you. And, word to the wise, if you do have a profile, then make sure you’re presenting yourself in a respectable way. Don’t post anything that you wouldn’t want your grandma to see, and you should be in the clear.
If you’re following all of this, and you still haven’t found a job, don’t give up.
As cliche as it sounds, things will work out how they are supposed to be. Maybe you don’t have a job right now, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be unemployed for the rest of your life. If you have the opportunity to be living at home with your family, enjoy the quality time you have left – trust me, you’ll miss it when it’s gone.