How to Get From Commencement to a Career

According to recent data taken from the New York Federal Reserve, almost 43% of recent college graduates have found employment in a position that doesn’t require their college degree. The job market is very competitive, and even having a degree may not be enough for you to stand out. If you want to walk confidently across the graduation stage and into the front door of your dream job, here are some tips for improving your chances.

Establish Clear Goals

It will be hard to find the right job if you aren’t really sure of what you want to do or where you want to work. Many graduates feel some financial pressure and apply to every open position they see. Not only does this waste your time, but you also waste the time of companies that may be interested in your skillset. Prior to starting your job search, evaluate the goal for your life (whether short or long-term) and determine what salary range you will need to reach those goals. If you have established these plans, you can more strategically apply for positions that will get you to these goals.

Aim for Quality

With many companies using headhunter websites and artificial intelligence to screen applications and resumes, you won’t be able to just blitz the job market with your resume. Your efforts should be directed toward quality positions that align with both your education and your skillset. Don’t hold out for the perfect position, but aim for openings that look solid and mesh well with your area of interest or experience. Further doors may come open, which is a great question to ask if you are able to secure an interview.

Beef Up Your Resume

In addition to having a degree in your chosen field, you should also have plenty of experience that you can reference on your resume. It doesn’t have to be physically working in a similar position, as many graduate students work alongside professors or teams that have research studies published online through Bentham Science. While there have been accusations directed toward Bentham Science predatory practices and you don’t want to have work published that isn’t reliable or credible, having your thesis or dissertation published in an industry journal is one way to improve your resume.

Develop an Online Portfolio

Technology has not only made it easier to apply for jobs online, but it has also created opportunities for hiring managers to research potential candidates online as well. Having an online portfolio is one way to showcase your skills, but having a professional networking profile such as LinkedIn can be another way to let employers see your work. Your resume, email closing, and application should always include links to your online presence. According to CareerBuilder, almost 60% of hiring managers will research a candidate through search engines and any personal sites or information they can access.

Work as a Freelancer

Another way to get into the job you want actually involves going into business for yourself. Though it may take a little more time to build up a good base of clients, some of your former clients could become full-time employment possibilities. Through these jobs, you can develop a portfolio of your work and earn some good references in the process.

Learn How to Network

Your education and social circles will provide many opportunities to network with fellow professionals. Many times your classmates and professors will have experience or contacts in the same field as your degree. Don’t be afraid to use these connections and networks when you are job hunting. Those who know you best may the most helpful in finding you the perfect job.

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