Tips For Recent Graduates
When you are going to job interviews it can be easy to get discouraged. As a new grad especially you may worry about your lack of experience. This is where an internship can give you some more confidence, but it doesn’t have to be your only source.
It’s important to remember that the skills you’ve learned in school are going to be valuable to the companies that you’re applying to. You are an asset to them just as they are going to be an asset to you. So not only is your interview a chance for them to get to know you, but it was also an opportunity for you to get to know them.
Is that the place where you want to be? Will you actually enjoy waking up to work there every day?
These are the questions that you want to be answering for yourself during your interviews. To do this you will need to ask some questions of your own. Find out what you will be doing on your day to day and how that ties into their company values. Maybe it won’t be the right place for you. So don’t feel like the entire experience is riding on how you perform, they have to impress you as well.
You can be candid about what you are looking for. It might not be your dream job, but it could be your dream company. Or maybe the position is just a stepping stone. You would be surprised how people are willing to help you when you know where you want to be.
Hiring managers are excited to work with people who are young and enthusiastic, meaning that you won’t get anywhere by thinking of a job as something to just take up your time. On top of that it’s sad to work somewhere that you don’t actually care about. When you’re excited people can feel that and you’ll grow and you’ll learn, is what we all want to be doing.
Winning Your Interviews With Confidence
Never turn down a question. This would suggest that you aren’t excited for the role, and you miss out on an opportunity to show off your prior experience.
What hiring managers want is someone with their own thoughts and ideas, because in most cases they won’t be an expert on the position. They will want to see someone, at least willing, to go against their guidance.
So if they ask you what you think should be done with their social media, let them know what you think. Don’t attempt to pander to what you think they’ll want to hear. Be confident in your answers.
Even if you think you are doing poorly, just give the best that you can. The hiring manager may not give you the positive affirmation that you would usually look for when sharing ideas. This doesn’t mean your answers are wrong, and even if they are, don’t let that sway you.
People interview differently, so even if your answer isn’t what they wanted to hear they will be happy to know your thoughts on the subject. Just move on to the next one. Stay confident and do your best.
Apply Only To The Jobs That You Want
A lot of graduates eventually find that applying to hundreds of jobs just isn’t working out. They get too many yeses from jobs they aren’t interested in and no’s from the jobs they are interested in. It will put you ahead of the game to make this mindset shift early. Justify the positions that really appeal to you and aggressively pursue those.
This will not only help you stay motivated but help you stand out to their team. It will give you a reason to reach out to them knowing that you are putting your whole effort into the interview and resume process. Which we all know is no fun.
When you’re limited to jobs you have a good shot of landing it’ll get you more excited, and make the process easier as a whole.
Look back at the jobs or internships you have held in the past. If they are all in the same area then look for jobs there. Maybe that is healthcare, so you could look for marketing opportunities at different healthcare organizations.
That’s when you can take your search to Indeed or Glassdoor, and really hone in on those positions. Filter out the ones that don’t interest you and find out what you can be working towards.
You may find yourself stumbling onto positions that are perfect for you because you know what to look for. Of course, use your connections as well. It helps immensely to have a contact within the company, or just to know people who like you enough to offer you a job.
Try reaching out on Indeed to people who already work in your field. You don’t have to be asking them for a job, but ask them how they got to where they are today. Let them know that you are interested in doing the same.
From this you may even find out that your dream job wasn’t what you thought it would be.
Don’t Limit Yourself To Your Major
You don’t have to be only applying to jobs or internships that are within your major. Don’t think that just because you didn’t major in marketing means you’ll never get a job there. You can still be great at it with the knowledge you possess. It is a little bit like stepping out of your comfort zone.
Internships especially can give your resume a trajectory of what you are looking for. To help you justify your degree. When you add these aspects to your resume people won’t be confused as to why you are applying for a job.
If all you have to show is your English degree it might be a little harder to explain why you are making the transition into marketing. You will need to explain how your education could make you valuable in that type of role. Which is where your passion could shine through and do a lot of the explaining for you.
Your internships will make the value you possess clear, and highlight some of your experience. It is a good way to sell yourself and explain what skills you have learned and how you can apply them. Because when you’re on an internship you get a taste for a bunch of different things. For example, you may be learning in your Social Media Marketing Internship how to make social media ad buys or create demo videos.
That is a great experience to show off in an interview and gives you a lot to pull from when explaining what you can do. Then, by the next position, you will have even more to pull from. You will be ready for anything. Any work that you have done in the past will set you apart. Even if it was freelance work there will be transferable skills.
The Value of Networking
Networking is huge when it comes to finding jobs. There will always be value in having people who can vouch for your work ethic and skills. It will give you a step up in the interview process because they will already know that your work is good.
They will know that you can be an asset because you have somebody to vouch for you. In contract work especially this is crucial because employers will be looking for someone trustworthy that they can contact quickly. It is always a bonus to have someone to refer them to that person.
People are always excited to have a network that can fill needs. So it isn’t always about helping each other find jobs, it could just be finding someone to help you get some work done. Build that network of people you can rely on and you will never feel lost in your job search, or your work.
This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be aggressively networking online. Working in itself is a great way to get your foot in the door of a lot of conversations. It may not get you the job, but it will at least get you in the room which can be just as important.
It gives you somewhere to have your voice heard. Which ties back in as well to being confident in your ideas. Always be prepared and educate yourself, because if you have good ideas then people will take notice.
That could be the difference in getting a call down the road from someone with a newly opened position. Allowing you to skip the entire job search process from the start.