New Grads: 3 Ways to Jump Start Your Job Search NOW

Start Your Job Search NowNow that’s you’ve graduated you might want to kick back and enjoy the summer.

Big mistake.

The job search is both a sprint and a marathon, a vital project you need to manage carefully. And the fact is you aren’t a student any more; you don’t get summers off.

Here are a couple of ideas to get your job search kick-started this summer:

1. Get in a “Start NOW” Mindset

It might be tempting to hang for the summer and get serious in the fall. But by September we are just a skooch away from the end of the year. As you get into November and December some organizational processes, including hiring, slow down dramatically.

When grads were asked what they would have done differently in their job search in a recent survey, the majority of students said they would have started earlier. A job search is not a short-term proposition.  The sooner you get going, the sooner you’ll start seeing progress!

2. Manage Your Job Search Like a Project

Even if you’re in a stop-gap job, your full-time job search is now, well, your full-time job. And you’ve got a lot of work to do before you ever submit a resume or show up for an interview. What does that entail?

  • You need to get clear on your interests, passions, and strengths. You need to understand the qualities you want in a work environment. You should research industries, and specific organizations you are interested in
  • Then you’ve got to develop your marketing materials: your resume, your cover letters, your linked in profile, your interview story-telling. You need to  develop any social media tools you are using. Your messages about yourself should be consistent, “one-voice” whether on-line or off-line
  • You must identify a network of connections that might be able to help you, and develop a strategy for developing that network
  • Identify activities that you will do EACH DAY toward that end, commit them to your calendar, and protect that time as sacred. Project management is just taking a large body of work and slicing it into pieces, so you can tackle a good chunk each day

3. Find a Tribe

You may feel a bit isolated now that you are without the comfort and companionship of the university campus. It can be hard to take on a big project like this on your own. So, find a tribe to help you through.

Find a group of folks going through same process, meet with them weekly. Report on what you’ve done in the past week, and your goals for the next. This sense of social accountability will help keep your head in the game, and, create a sense of momentum about your job search.

You’ll want to be in a group of recent grads who are going through the same process, as your needs are a bit unique and you are developing your story as a career starter, rather than a career or job changer.

Where to find job seeker groups:

  • LinkedIn Groups and Twitter chats
  • Young professional organizations in your area
  • Church and community groups
  • Start your own by putting a notice MeetUp or Craigslist

A tribe can encourage you, support you when things are down, and help you identify what’s going on in the market that could help you. They also may have connections that might be helpful to you (and vice versa).

Okay, so get started . Don’t wait, and let me know how it’s going!

Leave a comment below and let me know what specific actions you are taking to launch your  job search project!





For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Degrees of Transition!



LeaAbout the Author: Lea McLeod helps recent grads and mid-careerists navigate the job search. And once you have a job, she’ll coach you to the brilliant performance of which you are capable! Her “Developing Patterns of Success” Workshop has been deployed to help thousands of college hires worldwide do just that. She blogs at Follow her on Facebook, and Twitter, too.



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