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”.