While that is exciting, it’s also pretty daunting.
My goal is to score a paid internship or entry-level job by the time I graduate on Dec. 21. To achieve this goal, besides paying close attention in my public relations job-hunting class at Chico State, I have also done online research and asked advice from teachers and family members.
The first thing I have learned is that landing your first job out of college is no easy task. It not only takes a lot of hard work and attention to detail, it also requires a large dose of patience.
Here are a few other important things I have learned:
Proofread: Your resume, cover letter and online identity should be free of grammar and spelling errors.
Social media: Employers are hiring you for a job in communications, and they want to see how you manage yourself online. Your online presence should be free of inappropriate content.
If you need to, clean up your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, blog and any other social networking tool you use.
Be sure these tools are an accurate representation of you. For example, I try to have a mix of tweets. Some are professional and directly related to my desired field of work, others are funny and about my daily life.
Interviews: The interview process can be intimidating, and your best bet is to be over-prepared. Even if you already know about the company, research them one more time. Check out their mission statement, read their blog and scan all of their social media. If you know who will be interviewing you, do some research on them as well.
Review possible interview questions and be sure you have prepared answers to them. Before a recent interview I reviewed this list of 100 potential interview questions.
In addition to basic questions, such as “tell me about yourself,” I have also been asked why I want to work for the company, how I dealt with a crisis situation and what was the last good book I read.
At the conclusion of your interview you will likely be asked if you have any questions. Now is your chance to learn a little bit more about the position, company or office atmosphere, so ask away. If you do not, they may feel like you are not engaged or interested in the company.
The leave-behind: Always bring extra copies of your resume to your interview. Additionally, it is wise to bring samples of a variety of your work.
Follow-up etiquette: Of course, say thank you! Ask for the interviewer’s card and within 24 hours be sure to send an email expressing appreciation for the chance to interview.
If you were interviewed by multiple people then send each person a separate email that is customized. Along with an email, sending a thoughtful, handwritten thank you note will demonstrate your desire to work with them.
These are the steps I have followed in my job-hunting journey so far. While I can’t guarantee they work, as I’m currently waiting to hear back from prospective employers, I do believe they will give you better odds of landing that dream job.