As a Millennial currently on the job hunt, I feel like I’ve become an expert on all things related to getting hired post-graduation. I know things may be looking bleak, but fear not fellow seniors, you aren’t alone in this (which actually may be the problem, there are too many of us looking for jobs!).
For your benefit, I’ve compiled all the tips and tricks I’ve gathered from my internships and from attending almost every networking or alumni event at school. Hopefully it will help you land your dream job! Or really any job at all, we can’t be picky at this point.
- Sign up for job alerts on sites such as Indeed and Career Builder. You will receive daily emails from these sites with alerts for open jobs in the field and location you choose. Also, check out AngelList, which is basically the Indeed for start-ups.
- Make an online portfolio of your work. One of my professors who runs his own PR firm suggests this because a portfolio gives him a better feel for who you are and your personality. It also makes it easier for him to come up with questions to ask you in the interview based on your previous work.
- Use your network. Hit up your professors for advice and guidance on getting jobs. They’ve been around the block and are sure to have some tips for you. Additionally, most of them worked in their field before becoming a professor, so they will likely have some connections for you in the industry. Have them connect you (via LinkedIn or email) with any past students who have jobs that you are interested in learning more about.
- Complete your LinkedIn profile and connect with everyone. I spent three hours one day connecting with everyone I knew to get my number to 500+. After I had connected with so many people, more people kept connecting with me! To get you started on your LinkedIn journey, connect with me here. Special shout out to any companies who are reading this and looking to hire an enthusiastic, passionate, team player… your search is over, I am available!
- Perfect your elevator pitch. You want to let someone know that you’re an asset they should invest in. Showcase why a company would benefit from hiring you.
- Clean up your Facebook and use the “View As” tool to see what is public. It’s not worth missing out on your dream job because the company recruiter saw that photo of you on spring break and thinks your behavior speaks more to your character than the “dedicated, hard-working, motivated, go-getter” you describe in your cover letter.
- Speaking of cover letters, keep them short and to the point. Do not restate things that are on your resume. Instead, describe specific projects or tasks from past experience and how they transfer to this job. Focus on quantitative facts! Your goals are to highlight your interest in the company and position and to describe your background and how it pertains to the job itself.
- Don’t be afraid of start-ups! Yes, you will probably work longer hours and be paid less for it, but startups have a bunch of sweet perks too. Additionally, at a startup, you’re typically wearing a bunch of different hats and helping out wherever needed. This gives you far more experience than you would in a larger company where your job is more defined.
- STALK STALK STALK – we are Millennials, we know how to get the dirt on people. Don’t waste these stalking skills on that girl from your 8 AM lecture who you swore you saw at that party the other night talking to your boyfriend… use your stalking skills to get a sweet job! For any job or company you want to work for, check out their LinkedIn and see if you have any connections with other employees (especially your school’s alumni). Before an interview, research the person you’ll be interviewing with and see what you can learn about them. Check out their past experience and what their interests are. Anything you can bring up that you have in common is a bonus.
- At one of my past internships, my mentor talked about the importance and usefulness of informational interviews. To score an informational interview, find a junior level employee. Bonus points if they have something in common with you or a mutual friend/connection. Send them a message with something along the lines of, “Hey, I know you are busy, but can I take 15 minutes of your time to speak with you and learn more about your company and the work you do there?” As someone in a lower level position, they will usually be more willing to speak with you and flattered that you want to pick their brain and hear about their experience. After speaking, thank them and keep in touch. If a position opens up at their company, they may think of you first!
- Don’t give up! Look for ways to get in the back door of a company. Network. Be a little sneaky and stalk people. Suck up, but be genuine about it. Don’t be shy about promoting yourself.
And above all, don’t stress. Trust in yourself and your abilities. If you work hard, you will succeed. And if you don’t succeed, go live at home for a while with free food and free laundry and your dog and a working dishwasher and now that I think of it, that isn’t sounding so bad at all…