20 Job Search Tips for 2012 College Graduates

by Rich DeMatteo

I want to tell you about a conversation that I once overheard.  The day was March 15, 2005, my college graduation day.  A roommate’s dad was talking to my mother and father when I heard him say…

I wanted to bring a 2X4 (lumber), write “LIFE” on it, and use it to smack Billy right across his forehead the moment he received his diploma

I was certainly too confused and overwhelmed with my current newfound life situation to understand how true that joke actually was.  For many, graduation signals a new life.  For some it’s a tougher life.  For most (if not all) it’s the official birth of a professional — but only after they do land that first job.

When I graduated, the job market was much easier to break into than it is now.  The “life” 2X4 induces much more pain for graduates these days, so here are 20 Job Search Tips for the current or soon to be 2012 Graduates:

1.  Use Linkedin:  Spend serious time on Linkedin.  Build connections, join groups related to your industry, and apply for jobs through Linkedin.  If you spend 10 hours on Facebook per week, try popping onto Linkedin for 5 hours.

2.  Visit Your School Career Center:  Your career center is not only free, but people there are very helpful.  Take advantage of their tips, advice, and employer connections.

3.  Focus Your Job Search:  Don’t apply to everything you see.  Focus your search on one or two specific areas.  Applying to too many jobs is sloppy and employers will take notice.

4.  Practice Interviewing With Friends:  Get a group of 2-3 friends together and meet once a week to practice interview questions.  Critique each other and offer feedback.

5.  Buy Your Interview Clothes Before Graduating:  You might already have nice clothes for an interview, but it’s always a nice feeling to buy a new suit and feel mentally prepared for something great to happen.  Don’t want to get a call on a Tuesday for an interview on Thursday and feel unprepared to look the part.

6.  Have a Plan:  Write out a little job search plan.  List the companies you really want to work for, the geographic locations you like, and pick specific times of the week to designate for the job search.

7.  Don’t Have a Plan:  Hey, some people just can’t plan, and that’s OK.  Just make sure to not lose focus of the one or two areas that you’re SURE you want to work in.

8.  Set a Professional Voicemail on Your Phone:  A standard voicemail will work just fine.

9.  Check Your Facebook Privacy Settings:  Turn your wall comments off, disable photo tagging, and set everything to a minimum of “Friends of Friends”.

Tips 11 – 20 and complete article

5 Ways Pinterest Can Help Your Job Search

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If you haven’t yet discovered the addictive time-suck that is Pinterest, here’s the deal: It’s a web-based bulletin board where users pin beautiful, inspirational pictures.

Most people use it to pin pictures of pretty clothes, interesting home decor, and drool-inducing food, but we’ve got another idea – use Pinterest for your job search.

Here are five ideas of how to do just that:
1. Find companies you want to work for.
Companies large and small quickly figured out the value of Pinterest for their sales and marketing (see Zappos and Whole Foods). Those pin boards can help job seekers get a sense of the company’s culture, priorities, outreach strategies and overall tone.
Are they buttoned-up or casual? What’s their main marketing focus? What language do they use to talk about themselves and their products? These insights can help you craft standout, tailored job applications that show you’ve done your homework and understand the company.

2. Put your resume on Pinterest as a portfolio.

We love an idea from Mashable suggesting Pinterest as a way to create a visual representation of your resume or professional experience.
Create boards for your work experience, awards and accomplishments, degrees or classes, a portfolio of your work, and even your hobbies and interests. As long as you have or can find pictures demonstrating these things visually, you can create an eye-catching Pinterest portfolio to share with employers.

3. Follow college career offices.
Some college career folks are brilliantly using Pinterest to give expert job advice to college students and recent grads. Even if your school’s career office isn’t on Pinterest yet, you can follow any that are, like those at the University of Pennsylvania, the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and Bucknell University. These offices have pin boards for professional dress, job search tips and career research.

Tips 4,5, and complete Glassdoor Blog

Make Social Media Your Job-Finding Weapon

Jacquelyn Smith, Forbes Staff

What’s one way for hiring managers to learn who you are outside the confines of the résumé, cover letter and interview? Scanning your social media profiles.
It turns out 37% of employers screen potential job candidates on social networks, according to a new CareerBuilder survey. That means about two in five companies browse your social media profiles to evaluate your character and personality — and some even base their hiring decision on what they find.
“Social media is a primary vehicle of communication today, and because much of that communication is public, it’s no surprise some recruiters and hiring managers are tuning in,” says Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder. “It will be interesting to see over the years how many employers adopt formal policies around social media.”
The nationwide survey, which was conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of jobs siteCareerBuilder.com from February 9 to March 2, 20l2, included more than 2,000 hiring managers and human resource professionals.
Brad Schepp, co-author of How To Find A Job On LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google+ says he was surprised to learn that just 37% of employers are researching candidates on social networking sites. “I would think that number is actually much higher,” he says. “If you were a recruiter, or a hiring manager for a company, wouldn’t you check out a potential hire through LinkedIn? Or, if you were hiring a recent grad, it would almost surely occur to you to visit their Facebook profile.”
Of the employers who do not research candidates on social media, 15% said it’s because their company prohibits the practice, and 11% report they do not currently use social media to screen, but plan to start.
The survey also found that employers are primarily using Facebook (65%) and LinkedIn (63%) to research candidates. Just 16% use Twitter.
So why are they using social networks to research candidates? – More answers, tips, and complete Forbes article

Job and Career Advice… from Dirty Harry

by Mark Babbitt

I took some time this weekend to get caught up on my non-work related reading, just to clear my head. In a matter of moments, however, I got sucked right back in by no one other than “Dirty Harry” himself, Clint Eastwood.

In an old magazine article, here’s what Eastwood said about getting a job in his teens… some six or seven decades ago:

“When I was a kid, I remember going out and looking for jobs, and I would ask my father how I could figure out how much money I would make. He told me not to worry about that, but to tell them what I could do for them and that I wanted to learn everything about their business and become a great asset to the company.”

Mr. Eastwood went on to use this advice throughout his adult life. Here’s his approach when he asked to direct his first film:

“I went to the head of Universal Studios and said that I’d like to direct this film as well as act in it. Because it was a small budget, he said, ‘Sure, go ahead, but we’re not going to pay you to direct.’ I told him that was fine; I should be paying him for the experience, that he shouldn’t pay me until he knows I can do something…”

Dirty Harry added:  –  More advice from Dirty Harry and complete article

Get a new job? 10 tips for new grads

Job seekers, particularly those just finishing school, have a lot more control over their situations than they acknowledge. Even in a competitive economy, there are steps to take to help land a new job successfully Check these off your list to get on the road to job search success!

1. Apply for the right jobs. Study job descriptions and highlight the parts describing you.

2. Research companies seeking your skills. Use LinkedIn’s Skills section to help choose suitable organizations.

3. Create and cultivate a professional online presence. Jobvite’s 2011 Social Job Seeker Survey reports 89 percent of companies will use social networks as part of their hiring plans this year. Consider creating and maintaining your own professional website like a social resume.

4. Network in person. Join professional organizations (many will have student or new professional rates) and attend events where you can expect to meet prospective hiring managers and mentors.

5. Practice your pitch. Be able to tell people what you do, why it’s important to them, and about your accomplishments. Narrow down these talking points to a 30-second introduction.

Tips 6 – 10 and complete article