Recently Graduated? What’s Next?

Your friends invite you to a game of dodgeball. After causing a ruckus which two people get to be a team captain, everyone else stands in line. Perhaps you’re feeling extremely confident in that throwing arm you’ve worked over the years playing for your local high school and college baseball teams and are anxious to hear your name get called on.

You were picked last…Sound familiar?

We go to great lengths to try and stand out from the crowd: watch YouTube videos to get the latest tips on crafting that perfect resume and cover letter, sign up for LinkedIn’s Learning platform to get those handy skills we were never taught in school, connect with family and friends in hopes they will put in a good word in about us to the hiring manager.

But to no avail, and you might ask “am I doing something wrong?”

No. No you aren’t. What I have realized over the course of ongoing 2-month long job hunt is just how far my obsession for building a professional portfolio has taken me. I never thought I would create my very own blog and speak to you! Even though people have different needs, here are 3 things EVERY person should do.

The Essentials

  1. Create a LinkedIn account

    LinkedIn Banner
    Photo by Esther Vargas

Do not. I repeat. Do not ignore this invaluable tool in your job search. When you go to networking events, you’ll be better prepared to establish professional relations with people in the same industry you are trying to set foot in. Also, by uploading samples of your work on the platform, you’ll show employers that you mean business by marketing yourself professionally, giving you an edge over everyone else who only does the bare minimum.

  1. Apply for an internship or contract position

Intern Sign
Photo by David Horowitz

If you are like me and you have no relevant experience in the position you are hoping to fill, recruiters or hiring managers may turn you away. It’s challenging even if you see transferable skills from other jobs, but the dilemma stands: you need experience to get a job; you can’t get experience without getting the job. But, you can’t expect to land a full-time position working your dream job without getting a feel for your everyday duties. Start small, then work your way up.

  1. Keep busy

Networking Event
Photo by Fruitnet.com

Don’t just lay in bed munching on Doritos (or whatever your favorite snack may be) while applying for jobs all day. Instead, set aside time scouring the web, but also invest time looking into networking events near you, creating more work samples to upload to LinkedIn, and learning new skills.

Happy job hunting!

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