5 Things You Can Do To Land Your First Post-College Job
By: Taylor Renee
It might sound overwhelmingly difficult to digest, but only 14 percent of college students have a job lined up for them post-graduation. So where does that leave the remaining 86 percent of students? Well, doing exactly what I have been trying to figure out the last 10 months.
A child might ask their parents at some point in life, “why should I go to college?” While the parents love to respond with, “To increase your chances of a secure paying job, offer endless opportunities, form life-long connections, learn valuable skills to launching your own business and to potentially live a long, prosperous, happy and healthy life.” I’m sure the list goes on, but people don’t often talk about the list to HOW we are supposed to obtain all of this jazz post graduation. It’s like the ultimate feeling of abandonment, neglection, worthlessness and self-pity. As if you have just been aggressively and unapologetically abused mistreated. If you are still a part of the struggle bus with its last wheel—and no spare— hanging on, then please continue reading and take notes.
I also just recently discovered what I am about to reveal. So take it from me, 10 months post grad and just now getting my feet wet. DO IT NOW!
1. GET FOCUSED
Some people decide they want to travel the world as soon as they graduate. Others, start a family and then there’s us who want to do what they just spent at least 4 years of their precious life and thousands of dollars on. Everyone takes a different path, but whatever it may be you need to be ready. In order to get there, get focused! I’m never understanding those who say they want one thing but are not taking the proper steps to achieve that. For instance, if you want that dream job but you are out every night of the week getting LIT and celebrating loans you will be paying back the next 10 years then shoot, by all mean CELEBRATE! But just know, the job will most likely not find you if you are not working towards it and speaking and putting it out into existence. Yes, celebrate because you have finished school, but honey, it has only just begun. So if you want to take time off, do that. If you want to give up everything you have and travel while you are young, please, do that. Whatever it is you want, you not only have to speak about it but be about it. Keyword: be.
2. MAKE CONNECTIONS IN SCHOOL/AFTER SCHOOL
This is something I definitely could and should have done more of. I graduated from Academy of Art University where my instructors were working industry professionals. So many times my instructors would have to leave town for a day because of NYFW or meet for coffee with the iconic André Leon Talley. That pretty much is a big deal which means it’s pretty much IMPORTANT for me to interrogate these people and dive deep into their brains and take as much insight from them as I possibly can. They are standing in front of me for a reason. You have to sometimes step out of your comfort zone and take advantage of your opportunities. Always remember that you are in a school with thousands of other people that are going after exactly what you want. It’s honestly, truly every man and woman for themselves. Help yourself and connect with people that can help you in the future.
3. CREATE A LINKEDIN PROFILE
Okay, this should be on everyone’s syllabus on the first day of school. It was definitely mandatory for me as an artist-athlete to be effective and active on LinkedIn. Facebook is cool and all but how many recruiters post on your timeline a day looking for job candidates? How many of you are friends with the CEO’s of your dream companies and have communicating access with them? I’ll wait… That’s my point exactly. It’s a professional, job seeking platform that can really get you one step ahead of your competitors. Oh, and I advise you to CREEP! Yes, LinkedIn lets you know when someone has recently lurked your profile, but what an unanticipated feeling it is to see the exact person you need to be emailing to get this remarkable job has just spent time on your profile! Make sure to proof-read, spell check and have a decent profile photo with very few Facetune edits. Post your best work from school and don’t be afraid to slide in the DM’s. That’s what it’s made for!
4. RESUME, PORTFOLIO, CHECK
For the longest time, I couldn’t get a single company to respond to me after sending over my resume. Was it not attractive enough? Was it too wordy? Did I list irrelevant jobs and skills all on one resume? It’s always a combination of everything. I remember one time I asked a successful fashion stylist, “What is the trick to getting recruiters to respond back after sending my resume?” She responded with an unforgiving, unapologetic, cold, “LIE!” I thought for a minute and was like “Duh!” That’s what I needed to do all along! But how about when you land the interview and you have to explain the time when you fake worked for that company and the people you dealt with? Or when they have ties to the person you said you worked under and they contact them? Yeah, still sound like a good idea? Be honest, always. Work on including jobs and skill sets relevant to the position you are going for. Does your resume aesthetically represent you as an artist or a person? They say resumes are only skimmed over for 10-20 seconds. You have a very minimal amount of time to attract someone and to get them curious about you. Be creative, be relevant, have others proof-read like always and be HONEST. Someone has to like you for you.
If you still need help, check out the app, Fiverr where you can have someone revise or recreate a resume of portfolio particularly for you!
5. BE PATIENT
Honestly, you have to. Everyone’s journey is different, we know that. But often times we find ourselves comparing our journey to someone else’s. That is our biggest mistake. What we work for will get us to where we want to be, and it might not be right away and it might not be when we want it to happen. Timing is everything and it
is important we respect the Universe and respect God. When we do our part, trust and believe the rest is being taken care of. When I say patient, I am not saying to respond with “no” with opportunities present themselves. By all means, say YES! Please say yes! Because that first job will not be your last job, but you will gain experience and you will be that much closer to where you are supposed to be. Patient steadfast despite opposition, difficulty or diversity. Practice it.
If you haven’t found success yet, remember you are not alone. There is 86 percent of us still trying to figure it out. I wish you the best on your journey and remember to check the blog weekly for more PR insights! We want to see you grow! Tag, and share #behindthedesk
Taylor Renee is a Jr Publicist at iGN PR & Co. Blog@PRinsights.net