Graduating from college is a precious and memorable achievement in life.
I remember feeling that making my parents proud is more than enough reward for all the years of studying. I’m sure you’re feeling that way too.
Aside from the achieving a major milestone, graduating from college is also the start of facing crossroads and making decisions.
(Trust me, there will be more to come whether it is related to your career or personal life.)
Seek advice from people you trust and look up to in your life and get help in weighing your options.
How do you want to spend your life after college? Are you ready to face the first challenge of earning money on your own either as an employee, business owner, or freelancer?
If you’re thinking of joining the workforce, here’s my graduation present to help you start your career journey.
Take a look at these 8 tried-and-tested hacks to land your first job if you just graduated from college:
1. Open accounts on multiple platforms
Whether you’re a freelancer looking for a possible client or a fresh grad who wants to work for a company before delving into freelance, looking for a job can be quite a hassle.
You just can’t rely on one job platform. Companies and clients post on different job platforms, some only post on one platform. Opening accounts on multiple platforms gives you more choices, thus more chances of finding job opportunities.
My top picks would be Jobstreet, Kalibrr, and Jobayan.
Jobstreet has a huge scale of job listings, while Kalibrr has a down-sized list but has most of the big companies under the belt.
Meanwhile, Jobayan is a new platform that functions like a job-matching site — where either the client (the job poster) or you, yourself, (the job seeker) can create a job post. If a client is interested in you, he/she will just click the “Interested” button, and you will receive an email or an sms with the client’s contact details. No need to wait for that call from HR for a job interview.
Even more amazing, with Jobayan you also have the power to show “interest” in a job post by clicking the “Interested” button. Clients will then receive a notification with your contact information. If your job post matches with the client’s job post details, you can then go ahead and make the first move. Think of it as a dating site for job posters and job seekers.
2. Utilize social media
LinkedIn, Facebook, and even Twitter are now big players in job and client searching.
LinkedIn is useful to see the employer’s profile and job openings. You can also follow and connect with important people in the industry.
Facebook is also another platform you can utilize to directly message a client you’re eyeing on for projects. Another is to be part of Facebook groups that focus on your industry or niche.
3. Go straight for what you want
There’s no point in dilly-dallying, especially when you’re looking for jobs or clients that are very specific. Narrow it down to what you really want.
For example, you want to focus on account management, but which industry or better yet, which company? When you know what you want, it will be easier to find and filter out.
4. Use the right keywords
In line with the third hack is to utilize keywords after figuring out what you want. Given the previous example, you can literally type in “account manager advertising”.
If you’re a writer who wants to work for the food industry, type “food writer” or “writer food magazine”. The search tab of Google, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram is your oyster — mix and match keywords so you have options.
5. Cold emails or DM’s work
The online world has made everything easier–particularly, connecting people. Before e-mail and social media, reaching important people in your chosen industry was impossible.
Now you can direct message them on Messenger, Instagram or LinkedIn or send them an email.
If you don’t know their email addresses, free tools like Hunter.io will help you find email addresses of the HR officer or business owner in seconds.
As long you do it with finesse, courtesy, and professionalism, this might go well for you. Treat it like any professional conversation and you might just bag a job or client through email.
6. Use your connections
Everyone has connections. If you think you don’t have one, start with your family. Or even your next-door neighbor.
(In fact, I was able to get a large corporate client through my neighbor.)
But honestly, if you have work experience (which I know you all do) then go to past colleagues or clients.
“Asking around” might do you well, and the fact that you already know them personally is a good leverage for a referral. It never hurts to ask, as long you ask in a professional manner.
7. Attend job fairs
Job fairs might be “old school” but it still works. Companies who join job fairs are hungry to find people who can work for them. Don’t get blinded by benefits, though.
Make sure you do your research and ask the right questions before you say yes.
8. Show up and follow up
Now that you raked a handful of interviews, it’s time to do the next step–interviews! Show up and bring your A-game on. At the end of the day, it about how you are able to sell yourself.
Once your interview is done, send a thank you email for a good closing and follow-up once or twice (twice is the maximum amount for me) 3-5 days after the interview.
The fear of failure will hold you back but the sooner you realize that failing is part of the process, then you will start your way to finding the right job for you.
Keep the faith and always be open to opportunities. Enjoy the job hunt!
Photo credit: Nottingham Trent University