Many universities employ top-notch career counselors to help their students find work after finishing their degrees. Counselors may advise students individually, publish articles and guides, or facilitate workshops and job fairs. But even if you don’t have access to a career counselor, you can still take advantage of the advice they give. Try the following tips to make your job search more successful.
– Recognize your strengths. Know what you’re best at and put together a strong pitch that articulates your talents and skills and describes what you’re passionate about. Your time will be better spent advertising your strengths, rather than apologizing for your weaknesses.
– Focus on yourself rather than the job market. Often, job searchers make the mistake of trying to contort themselves into the right shape to land a job that isn’t a good fit for them. Instead, concentrate on what you bring to the table and figure out what kind of position you want and can realistically obtain. Then, go out and find a job that matches these specifications.
– Meet with people in person. Online tools can be fantastic ways to get introduced to people, but take the time to meet them in person if you’re really interested in what they do. Face-to-face interactions are still at the top of the networking pyramid.
– Be willing to take internships. Particularly early in your career, it may be easier to find a short-term internship than a permanent, full-time position. Don’t turn your nose up at the prospect of being an intern, as it offers valuable experience and may help you find the right job in the future.
– Don’t default into graduate school. Getting a graduate degree can advance your career, but only if you know what you want to specialize in and why. Heading to grad school without a clear plan can strip you of the opportunity to gain early experience and may saddle you with a heavy debt load that will take years to pay off.