LANDING YOUR FIRST JOB AS A RECENT GRADUATE
If you’re a recent university graduate and haven’t landed your first entry-level job yet, don’t panic.
University graduation often comes with a mixed emotions. On one hand, you're excited to close this chapter and move on to the next in the “real world.” But on the other hand, you know this major change comes with a lot of uncertainty — and with that, anxiety. This is especially true if you find yourself unemployed and still searching for an entry-level job.
Below are some job-search tips to help you take advantage of this favorable job market to land your first entry-level job after college graduation.
Figure out your next move
Start by giving your job goals some serious thought. You don't have to map out your entire career path — in fact, I recommend that you use these first few years after university to explore different fields and types of organizations to discover what's best for you before committing to any long-term career goals — but you need to narrow down your search to some degree.
For instance, is there a particular industry or company that especially interests you? While it's unrealistic to assume your first entry-level job after university will be your 'dream job,' it’s not unreasonable to target jobs at companies that are in your dream industry. If you need a little inspiration, take a look at this list of the hottest entry-level jobs for recent university graduates in Nigeria.
Come up with a job-search game plan
As French writer, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, once said, “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” Simply saying “I want a job” won't help you accomplish your career goals. You need to make a solid plan to keep your job search on track. For instance, once your personal branding materials are in order, make a goal for the number of job applications and networking activities you'll complete each week.
Don't be afraid to intern
If you're having trouble breaking into your desired field, be willing to pursue an administrative or customer support role, or even an unpaid internship, to get your foot in the door. Many “entry-level” jobs today require one or more years of relevant experience. If you didn't intern during college to gain the prerequisite experience, you are at a disadvantage when competing for an entry-level job.
Update your college resume
As an entry-level job seeker, you're expected to have a one-page resume. Remove any references to your high school career and focus on highlighting your best selling points, such as your education, leadership skills, internship experience, and any awards you achieved during your undergraduate days. The following links will show you how to write a resume for your first post-college job.
Clean up your social media habits
According to a study by Jobvite, 93 percent of employers will search for your social media profiles before deciding if they should interview you. Make sure your online presence isn't sabotaging your job search by auditing your online brand to see if your social media profiles are unintentionally raising red flags for employers.
If you have any personal social media accounts you don't want employers to associate with your candidacy, now's the time to increase the security settings and change the usernames to a nickname so you're confident your private accounts are well-hidden from recruiters. Also, set up a professional LinkedIn profile to advertise your candidacy to employers.
Network like it's your job (because it is)
Studies find that you're 10 times more likely to land a job when your application is accompanied by an employee referral. However, you can't get those coveted references without networking. Make it your mission to become an active networker. Build a valuable professional network by getting involved in your alma mater's alumni events, joining relevant LinkedIn groups online and finding face-to-face networking opportunities through relevant Meetup groups, professional association, and trade shows and conferences.