Stand out from other applicants Worried about finding a job after graduation? Here’s what to do

You just finished school. Congratulations! After a well-deserved rest, your thoughts will likely turn to jumpstarting your career.

As you may already know, finding a job after graduation can be challenging. Yes, you have the knowledge - and you know you have the skills to do the job - but you may not have any practical experience. So, you might ask yourself: if most employers are looking for someone with experience, where do I even begin? No worries - here are a few tips to get you on your way.

Attend networking events

Networking is one of the most important skills in finding a job. You already have your personal network of friends and family - now think about how you can expand it. A logical first step is to join a local networking group and attend their events.

Most people think of these networking events as formal affairs where people in fancy suits do elevator pitches and exchange business cards. These exist, but - thankfully - most networking events these days are informal, relaxed and designed to bring people together. They are all about connecting people, not selling products or ideas.

Find an event near you. Bring a friend along if you feel anxious. You may be surprised at how enjoyable they are and how many great connections you make!

Continue to build up your skillset

As you try finding a job after graduation, you might think that learning more is the last thing you want to do. This is understandable. All graduates have been there. However, you might want to start thinking about getting back into that learning mindset.

Find opportunities to develop yourself: do some side work that will benefit your career, volunteer at an interesting organization, take an online certification course, start a blog, etc. Pursue anything you find interesting or feel passionate about!

Not only does this benefit you on a personal level, but employers will value your widening skill set and commitment to developing yourself.

Target a company you want to work for

Normally the job market works so that organizations target potential employees when they have a job opening. Why not flip this on its head? Why not research the organization you would love to work for and target them?

First, send them an email expressing your interest, and follow it up with a phone call. Tell them why you are interested in their organization. Explain how you would be a good fit and ask what you could do to improve your chances of getting a job there. Next, ask them if it would be OK to follow up on the call in three to six months. Then thank them for their time, in both the phone call and a short follow-up email.

Finally, and most importantly, follow through on what was discussed in the phone call. Contact them as you agreed, but remember not to be too pushy. They are busy people, after all, and you are probably not their top priority. Always be polite and respectful of their time.

You likely won’t be hired straight away. But, over time, the hiring manager will love your energy, enthusiasm and willingness to learn. At the very least, you will be a strong candidate when the right job opens up!

If you’re interested in learning more about useful skills which will help you land a job after school, check out these courses:

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