So you just graduated and you’re ready to start a new career. If you’re lucky enough you will be able to start a new job right away. However, there are some who will struggle with how to market their new degree to potential employers. By now you should have drafted a resume or reached out to a career coach to help you with developing a resume package. Afterwards you can follow the 3 steps below to get you a job offer in 90 days.
Step 1: Explore the possibilities
Some people choose their career path based on the degree program, while others discover themselves later and find comfort in doing something different. I was speaking with college students recently and I asked them what they wanted to do after they graduated. Some of the responses included a biologists, engineer, nurse, teacher, lawyer and many other careers. They all had a plan but most did not realize that these different professions they named had diverse job titles and settings. If you are a biology major do you want to work in the laboratory or would you prefer clinical research? As a nurse do you prefer caring for patients or case management? Teachers do you want to work in the school system or are you open to corporate training positions? The point is most of the students I talked to were not exploring the possibilities and this is one of the reasons jobseekers stall with their job search.
Here is a quick way to get you to explore the possibilities. Start with your major or desired position and highlight that in an organizational chart. Then you will add job titles that fit your background and experiences. Please see below two examples one using a biology major and the other using the project management profession. As you will notice I included the setting and industry to help identify more specific positions. Keep in mind that you can continue to explore career possibilities by adding additional boxes and determining the next career phase for that position such as a Senior Manager or Director.
Step 2: Research the position and develop a persistent job search strategy
Check your resume to make sure the appropriate keywords appear within your job accomplishments or work history for the positions you have selected. This will help your resume appear in employer searches. Ultimately you need your resume to be selected over the competition so pay attention to small details such as the title of your resume.
Here is an easy guide for you to get an edge over the competition:
- Establish specific times for your job search activities.
- Restrict your job search to newly posted positions.
- Utilize your network including friends and recruiters to provide you job leads.
- Cater your cover letter to the position requirements sharing how you performed those tasks or how confident you are that you can exceed their expectations.
- Be prepared with your salary research but don’t volunteer your salary requirements. Use sites like www.glassdoor.com to help you get a competitive salary.
Step 3: Prepare to interview for the positions you selected
I have seen employers choose candidates who interviewed well with less experience than those who were more qualified for the position. Grab a friend and practice interviewing for one of the job titles you selected. Choose a company so they can ask you specific questions related to that industry and company profile. Make sure you have a 60 second pitch that delivers what you represent. The epic question “Tell me about yourself” will not be disappearing from interview formats. It’s a great icebreaker so make sure your pitch is appealing.
Prepare your interview attire, documents, and directions the night before so you can arrive at your interview 15 minutes early. Bring a note pad and a prewritten document to have nearby during the interview which summarize key experiences or questions you want to ask. Remember to actively listen to your interviewer so you can prepare a great thank you letter which gives another opportunity to market yourself to your future employer.
We want to see you win! Stay encouraged and persistent throughout this process. Refresh your job search strategy every few weeks. Try looking for industry specific job boards or go directly to the employer’s website. Reach out to staffing agencies if you are not getting interviews or job offers. Do the work now so you can enjoy the benefits of a new job with a great salary to match.
Good luck and Congrats to the Class of 2015!
Share your success stories with Black Career Coach. Did you get a new job this year? Let us know so we can celebrate with you on our Facebook page. Do you want to share your graduation story with us? Please send us a graduation picture and details about your journey to info.blackcareercoach.org and we will feature you in a future post
About the Author:
Dr. Harris writes about overcoming obstacles, career growth, and development. She is a Author, Career Coach and the founder and visionary behind Black Career Coach. Dr. Harris leads a career coaching group on Facebook in which she empowers all members to network and provide career tips and strategies to aid in career growth and development. Professionally, she manages Global Cancer Trials for Pharmaceutical companies. For career coaching services contact us here and subscribe to Black Career Coach for updates, newsletters, and future blogs.