Graduating Soon? Congrats! Check Out These Tips For Your Job Search:

Over college break I shared some job search info with parents of college students. Some of the parents hadn’t interviewed in years and wanted to know what, if anything, had changed since way back when. For context, these were in response to some of the questions asked:

 📣Cover letters: If a company asks for them, or if they are optional, send one. Personalize it to the company, the position and WHY you want it, or would be a good fit for it. If there is NO option to send an additional document, put a ‘Career Objective’ or ‘Internship Objective’ at the top of the resume directly under your contact info. PLEASE don’t forget your contact info on the resume!  In this section, put WHAT you want to do, WHY you want to do it and HOW you can help (based on the info in the job posting). If you are cold emailing a company for an internship opportunity, send a cover letter stating exactly that. If it’s out of range for you to commute to, let them know that. If you don’t send a cover letter and you don’t explain what your goals are with the internship, you will leave them guessing, giving them opportunity to skip over you in favor of someone who did this.

📣Interview dress: Always ask the question! What is appropriate dress for this interview. You can’t go wrong asking. If the question can’t be answered (not sure why it wouldn’t be) then err on the side of dressing up. Here are some definitions for quick reference: Business Professional is a suit. Boom. That simple. Dress shoes/boots and a suit. Skirt or pants. Not a shorts/suit. Those aren’t appropriate unless you’re in creative somewhere. Business casual: Slacks/skirt and a shirt/sweater. Nice shoes. No jacket required. No tie required. Casual: Casual pants, shoes and shirts. I would NEVER wear casual to an interview unless it was a trendy/creative/startup and they specifically said to go casual. I would also still dress up in a trendy outfit. Friday casual or beach casual: Jeans, shorts, flip flops, etc. One more, Business Ready: An outfit that can be dressed up into Business Professional by throwing on your suit coat, classy sweater, etc.

📣LinkedIn Profile: Absolutely a must if you’re going into any sort of business, white collar or management type position. Populate as best you can, with as much information as you can. Clubs, groups, memberships, awards, recognitions, leadership roles, Greek memberships, etc. Put on any jobs you’ve had, including when you were in high school. OK to list them as summer positions, if they were. Have a profile picture. OK to use your student ID pic or something like that. There is a place to put if you’re open to opportunities. Populate this with your internship ask, as well as future career goals.

📣AI in the job search: Ignore most info related to AI in your job search. Go old school and write a good resume. Include all software, programs used, project titles, company names, etc. If a recruiter is searching for a specific key word, you want them to pull up your resume. ATS systems do nothing accept receive your resume. Even if you’re qualified (in your opinion) you may not get a call. Don’t take it personally. Think of it this way: if you’re on a dating app and you don’t get a swipe right, it doesn’t mean that you were rejected, you just weren’t accepted. There’s a difference. You get rejected when they tell you you’re rejected.

📣Ghosting: Doesn’t happen as much as people talk about it. Ghosting implies a relationship. Sending your resume isn’t a relationship. Don’t get hung up on this. Look at it from a positive perspective: they now have your resume and know your name. They didn’t before you sent it. Mission accomplished!

📣Thank you notes: Send one if you want! It’s not a requirement. It won’t make you any more qualified for a role. It can, however, sway the hiring manager if you follow up with a thank you note that reiterates your qualifications for the role, why you want it, what problem you can help solve, etc.

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