|Martin Yate CPC
NY Times Bestseller
Professional Resume Services
Graduation means it’s time to take control of your life and guide your professional destiny. This first job search will be the toughest of your life, because you are in competition with your entire generation. But learn professional career strategies now and your investment will pay dividends throughout your work life.
Over the fifty-year span of a typical career, you might well have twelve to fifteen job changes. So it makes sense to develop job-search strategies that will make it easier to get your first opportunity and will help you climb the ladder of success as your career progresses.
Step One. Network with your professional family
You are forever connected, through shared experience, to every member of the professional family that graduated from the same school. There are countless alumni in your target profession who are eager to help. Some have just a year of experience,
| For more advice for emerging professionals,
check out “Knock Em Dead Secrets & Strategies
For First Time Job Seekers” available on Amazon
others have thirty, a few have retired but still own or sit on the boards of companies that you want to join. You can identify and approach these alumni for help by joining your alumni association.
Your alumni association will have its own website and membership database and you will be able to identify members by geography, occupation and usually by job title. Once you have identified the people with whom you wish to speak, you’ll need to prepare your message and questions and then reach out by e-mail or phone. Explain, briefly, to each contact that you’re following in their footsteps and that you would appreciate some advice. Ask them what it takes to be successful in the profession. Ask what skills and challenges they feel are at the heart of your target job. Ask what it takes to succeed and why some people fail? Ask what they think employers are looking for when they hire fresh grads. And don’t forget to ask for an introduction to the people who hire for your target job title.
Step Two. Social networking: Build your professional network
Set up a LinkedIn account and join discussion groups related to your target profession, so that you can learn about the issues that professionals in your chosen field are discussing. Then join job search groups, like the Knock ’em Dead Secrets & Strategies group, to build your job-search and career-management skills.
Identify the companies in your target industry/profession that are also located within your target geographic market (Career Services can show you the tools to do this), and then through common group memberships, connect with:
- Professionals in these target companies that hold the job title you are pursuing. They can help you understand the work and introduce you to the managers who will hire you.
- Professionals in these target companies that hold the management titles one, two, and three levels above the job you are targeting, because these are the people who have the job openings and the authority to hire you.
As social networking is also used by recruiters to do informal background checks, this is also the time also time to clean up your Facebook profile and remove any photographs or posts that may be seen as inappropriate for a professional. Use these combined activities to re-emerge as the young professional you wish to become.
Step Three. Connect with profession associations
Join a job-relevant professional association now, while you’re still in school. Professional associations are national in scope but also have local chapters all over the country. The people you meet at association meetings are the best-connected and most committed people in your profession and target location.
Go to the local monthly meetings while you are in school, and go to the meetings in your home town while you’re on vacation. Plan any trips, internship, or job interviews around those monthly local association meetings, so that in addition to interviewing for jobs, you can network with successful and committed professionals in the field.
Step Four. Job sites
Employers fill entry-level positions all year long, not just when your graduation swings around. Visit the sites and start applying for jobs. Cross-reference the companies you apply to with your growing professional networks, looking for contacts that can introduce you to the right recruiters and hiring managers at the target company.
Step Five. Work smart, not hardYour career may span fifty years, and job changes will happen with regularity. This means that job-search and career-management skills are critical to your ongoing success; these are the skills that put clothes on your back.
Make time now to jump-start your professional success after college. These networking initiatives will help you land your first job, and they will support your ongoing career growth, but you will still need to study job search and career management strategy to keep your professional destiny on course. Take control of your destiny today, and instead of facing competition, you will be the competition. For more advice on taking control of your professional destiny check out Knock Em Dead – Secrets & Strategies For First-Time Job Seekers.