I was speaking to my nephew today about his job search which triggered an interesting conversation around what new approaches to take these days for finding a job. The traditional models of job search have been replaced by new methods that leverage social networks and connections with people who are making the hiring decisions. Given this, our approach to job search has to change as well.
Depending on the college placement services to find a job is such a thing of the past. If you are looking for a job, you need to take charge of the process instead of hoping that someone else will take care of it for you. Just sending in your resume to the placement center won’t help you get your dream job. You need to be more proactive in tapping into your networks.
Here are some steps you can take along the way as you prepare yourself for a job.
- Identify summer internship opportunities that would give you the necessary experience which will in turn enhance your job prospects. Most employers offer full time positions to their top interns. If you do a good job during your internships, you can almost be assured of a full time job.
- Figure out what you are passionate about and learn deeply about this subject area – find out who is the leader in this space and how they got to become the leader and most importantly what they are doing to stay ahead of others. This knowledge will become critical during your interview so you can talk to your passion with some authority.
- Ensure you have a reasonable internet presence. If someone were to search for your name on the internet there should see some reasonable references – perhaps your blog or a special project you worked on or some volunteer work you did, etc. Not seeing any reference or negative reference will lead to perceptions about you which may or may not be accurate.
- Ensure that your resume is crisp and to the point highlighting your strengths and most importantly keep it short – no more than one to two pages long. Don’t use generic terms but instead be specific about your knowledge and how your experience will help your potential employer. Customize your resume and cover letter to address needs of each job you are applying for.
- Join a professional network like LinkedIn and make it known to professional recruiters and hiring managers what your experience and strengths are so that can reach out to you for a potential job opportunity.
I hope you find these tips helpful and result in you landing a great job. Best of luck with your job search.