Something many students look forward to is finding a job after graduating! You go to university, do well in your classes, graduate and boom! There’s your job! Right? If only it was that easy. Being a student myself still in university trying to figure my path in life out, I can tell you it’s nothing like what I expected. Going into university, I thought if I studied science (one of the “harder” subjects) I would have a job waiting for me after I graduate. It’s not that simple. After finishing my first year, I realized that I was practically failing my classes, had no direction, hated the field that I was in and was sad in general. I quickly switched directions and although I’m still in science, I’m more specialized in psychology and figured I would add a minor in business management. This opened a whole new world for me. Now, I work as an HR assistant at a great institution and I’m very passionate about the work I do and the potential I have in my career. That being said, I have faced PLENTY of problems in finding my first job, so here are some pointers that I’m helping will help you:
Polish your social/networking skills
I got my job through a connection. Straight to the point. Had it not been for my connection, I most probably would not have been able to get this job. Being referred by someone looks good on an application, especially if that person is employed in that same company. The reason for this is easy; employees would be hesitant to refer to someone they don’t think will match their company standard. Imagine referring someone just for them to embarrass you by being a bad employee. Make sure to get to know people. I got referred because when I worked at a club at the university I showed potential and tried my best to do my job perfectly and that made my friend feel confident in referring me to their supervisor.
The experience will do you good
The next best thing you should focus on is your experience. I could scream this from the top of a building! Experience is so so important. I work within a large organization that has a rather impressive HR team and I would say one of the most important things to have is experience. Experience, however, is a never-ending cycle. You need to get experience to get a job, but you need a job to get experience. This is where joining a university club could be helpful! Being the “vice president of administration” could give you introductory administrative skills, for example. The experience under these circumstances isn’t much but it’s better than nothing. It also shows potential and hard work.
Learn about the companies you’re applying to
Applying to jobs sucks! I hate it. It’s like an endless cycle of disappointment and heartbreak. That, however, doesn’t take away from the fact that you have to do it. So, you might as well do it right and better your chances of getting a reply in the email. When you’re applying for a job, always attach a cover letter. Don’t just copy a vague cover letter and send it out to everyone! Read up about the company, do your background research and understand what they do, what their values are and why you want to work for them. Do you like their company culture? Do you like the field they’re in? Are you passionate about their work? Tell them in the cover letter. It’s the one place many people ignore or misuse. Cater your cover letter to be more like a love letter to the company you want to apply to. When I started doing exactly that, I began hearing back from companies. So give it a shot and let me know how it goes.
Double-check your resume
Making sure you have a good resume is also very important. I would say run your resume through someone who works in HR. They can help you out in terms of drawing attention to certain aspects of your resume or leaving unnecessary information out. Next, you want to run it through some kind of English major. You don’t have to do this, but I would say just do it to be safe. Make sure to have excellent spelling and grammar and catch all the little mistakes. Paying attention to details is vital to employers. If you can’t be bothered to make sure your application is error-free then that would say a lot about the kind of employee you might end up being. So just be sure to take that extra step and double-check all your hard work.
Get your degree
Some careers require a Ph.D., while others are satisfied with a BSc or Ba. Either way, make sure you know what your field requires of you and make sure to get it. Even in an administrative job, you still would have much better chances of getting a job with a bachelor’s in business administration in comparison to someone who doesn’t. Fields that require research also will require a great deal of background on research that you can get from graduate school and higher-level educational institutions. A general rule of thumb is the higher the degree you have, the higher your chances will be of getting a good job. This is not guaranteed though so be careful of spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a Ph.D. just to end up not using it.