It’s time to begin your post-graduate job search. You won’t be entering the same job market that existed ten or twenty years ago. Not everyone with a degree gets a dream job right away. In fact, 50 percent of workers surveyed by Workopolis in 2014 said it took about 16 weeks to get a job.
As you enter the workforce, you need a tactical plan to follow, otherwise, you may lose direction.
Here are a few things you need to stay on track after graduation…
1. A Mentor
One of the smartest things you can do for yourself after graduation is to find a mentor. A mentor can help you navigate the complex job market with plenty of insights from an older, wiser perspective. Ideally, this person should have a career similar to the one you want.
With the Internet and social media as resources, you don’t need to go far to find your mentor. Pick your favorite “you in five years,” then ask him or her to meet you for coffee. Ask questions like, “Knowing what you know now, what would you have done differently at my age?”
2. A Routine
The freedom you have after graduating might seem awesome, but after a few weeks, it can steer you into a productivity slump. Without the structure of school, however, you might be prone to spending your days playing video games or staying out late with friends, for weeks in a row.
This is not the time to neglect your health or binge. Instead, get into a routine. Go to bed at a reasonable time on week nights. Then wake up early and go to a group exercise class. Always eat healthy meals around the same time each day. Spend a few hours crafting or, if you haven’t already, refining your job search tools (resume, LinkedIn, portfolio).
3. A Concrete Post-Graduate Job Search Plan
Without a tactical plan, your post-graduate job search might not execute well. Create a post-graduate job search plan with goals you can hold yourself accountable for. Create a schedule and daily task list with deadlines.
For example, on Mondays, you could spend two hours selecting five to ten positions to apply for. Then on Tuesday, dedicate two hours to tailoring your resume and cover letter for these positions. Finally, on Wednesday, connect with hiring managers on LinkedIn, and send emails asking for more information about the positions.
4. A Networking Group.
Even before you graduate, you can join a networking group either at your school or an industry organization. Speak with as many professionals in your industry as you can about what they do, advice for breaking into the industry and available opportunities where they work.
New data released in March from LinkedIn reveals between 20 and 30 percent of new hires in industries, such as computer, software, and management consulting are found through existing employees’ personal connections. The more people you connect with in your industry, the better your chances are of being recommended for positions in your field.
The transitional time between graduation and finding your first job can be confusing and filled with questions. But that’s OK. Everyone goes through it.
As long as you adhere to a plan and fill your life with supportive people, you’ll get your first job in no time.
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Campus to Career!