3 Tips For a Looming Job Search

3 Tips For a Looming Job Search

With school back in session for many college students (and starting soon for others), I’ve found myself reflecting on September 2013. On the first of that month, just over a year ago, I was no longer a student. I was a professional! I was ready to tackle the world! Or so I thought…

I know for a fact that there are thousands upon thousands of college students who, after graduating just a few short months ago, are engaged this very moment in the “daily grind,” a constant stream of resume updates, job applications and informational interview requests. To those I say: Don’t fret! Here’s some (hopefully) helpful advice for all you recent grads currently stressing about your professional future.

 

1) Have patience – and if you don’t, obtain it!

This seems obvious, but I’ve seen my fair share of friends and family members get so stressed out and anxious during a job search that it physically affects their health. And, it can affect your performance during job or informational interviews with potential employers. That’s no good! After witnessing some of these horror stories, last summer I worked hard on creating a frame of mind for the job hunt ahead, and it paid off immensely. Every time I received a rejection letter, I would tell myself, “It’s ok. There are so many more jobs out there!” It really helped calm me down, and move on to the next one. I know it’s hard to do, but if you can approach each application with a carefree yet professional attitude, I’m positive you’ll find some stress relief!

 

2) It really is all about who you know.

I’d heard this many, many times before graduating, so much so that it eventually faded into a distant background hum, something I was aware of but rarely attentive to. The hum quickly morphed into a loud roar, as after a month into my search it became painfully obvious that I needed to get out there and make some contacts.

As it turns out, an informational interview set up by my dad way back in November 2013 was my foot-in-the-door moment that allowed me to land my current job here at Vox; it just took awhile to realize itself! If you find yourself attending job fairs and informational interviews with nothing to show, know that sometimes the fruits of your labor will not be realized until further down the road – in some cases, months later (See “Have Patience” above) when a job opening comes along. Constantly reach out to family, friends, coworkers, professors and anyone else you know to see if they have any leads! But remember: While “who you know” can get you that contact or interview, it’s still up to you to get that job based on your own abilities.

 

3) Focus on quality over quantity

It’s all too easy to fall into the “application tornado,” where every day is filled with the constant sending of applications; I did so myself for a while! I found that I was applying to every job that was even loosely tied to communications and PR, which resulted in a large share of rejection letters. One day, I woke up and tried being a little more selective (not an easy thing to do in our post-recession economy). I started mostly applying for jobs I truly wanted, and was pleasantly surprised to notice a rise in the number of invitations to phone interviews and a decline in the number of depressing rejection emails. The latter point is obvious, but reducing the amount of negative feedback I was receiving helped my attitude immensely.

 

These are just a few pieces of advice I gleaned from my job hunt, but easily the most valuable. Plan for a long journey ahead; it might only take you a month to land a position, but going into the hunt with a patient, composed attitude will work wonders if a lengthy search rears its head.

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