Looking for a job as a student can be a challenge since you’ll need to balance your job-hunting time with your focus on your schoolwork. Plus, if you’re about to graduate, you might not have the real-world work experience that many positions require. By adjusting your job hunting and application approach, you can increase your chances of quickly getting a job that you’ll enjoy.
Be Flexible in Your Requirements
You might have an idea of your dream job in your head, but if you’re graduating or just need to bring in money, you might need to put that dream job on hold for a bit. If you don’t yet have any professional work experience, it can be hard to get a position when you’re competing against applicants with relevant experience and training.
Instead, be flexible about the positions that you’re looking for, and look for jobs that don’t require you to have experience. These types of positions may include working in a coffee shop, in a retail store, for a landscaping company, or at a movie theater. Remember, you won’t have to stay in these positions forever, and they can serve as stepping stones, giving you the experience and skills that will help you to later get those more competitive jobs that require experience.
Use All of Your Resources
When finding a job as an early college graduate, it’s important to make the most of the job search resources available to you. In addition to using the job search boards, like Indeed, that everyone has access to, you have access to a very valuable resource: Your college’s career services department. This department may be able to help you find job opportunities that aren’t widely advertised to the general public, cutting out some of the competition.
Most career services also offer many other valuable services. You may be able to have your resume and cover letter reviewed and edited, and the department might hold workshops to teach you valuable career skills, like how to prepare for your first professional job interview. Many career services offices also allow alumni to come back for future support, so even if you’ve already graduated, look into how this important resource might help you.
Make Yourself Stand Out
When you apply for a job, you’ll probably be competing against many applicants, so you’ll need to find ways to make yourself stand out. For instance, there are many ways to get noticed on LinkedIn, such as by writing a summary that’s focused on what employers want to hear, and by incorporating keywords into your profile so that search engines (and recruiters) can find you.
Don’t forget to incorporate these strategies into your cover letter and resume, too, since many employers now use technology to scan applications and identify those that include keywords indicating appropriate experience for the position. This strategy might make the difference in having a hiring manager look at your application, versus it ending up in the trash.
Consider Starting a Business
If you’re graduating and looking for a way to financially support yourself, a job doesn’t have to be your only option. If you’re talented, ambitious, and driven to succeed, then you may be able to start your own business and work for yourself.
Before you start a business, carefully think about what you enjoy doing and how you’re talented, then look for ways to monetize those talents. Be prepared to work hard and invest in your business, but remember that if you can build it into something successful, you won’t have to worry about applying for jobs.
Even if your business fails, you’ll have learned valuable lessons and gained experience that can help you if you do decide to apply for jobs in the future.
There are so many opportunities when it comes to job searching. As long as you keep these tips in mind, you will be employed in no time! Happy Hunting!
BIO: Dan Matthews is a writer with a degree in English from Boise State University. He has extensive experience writing online at the intersection of business, finance, marketing, and culture.