It is the long-awaited graduation season for thousands of students across Canada. After years of hard work and dedication, most graduates are now looking to land the best job that not only aligns with their career, but helps them put their knowledge into practice.
It is no secret that as a fresh graduate you may find that competition is high and sometimes there aren’t many positions available that serve your academic prowess or your overall career goals.
However, we all have to start somewhere and it is important to take every opportunity to improve your chances of getting hired.
To help you we put together this brief guide on how to get the right job after graduation. We anticipate that by consulting this guide you may be one step closer to landing the job of your dreams.
Build a strong professional network
As a recent graduate, it is important to take every opportunity to network with people in your industry. Some companies consider potential employees who respond to a job posting as a fall-back option. In most cases, employers like to ask around to choose the best possible fit for a job.
So, do your part by building references, attending industry events, and signing up for meetups with other like-minded individuals.
Professionals suggest that you build a network of advisers. This can be done by getting in touch with individuals who are two to three years into their careers. This can be done through professional networking sites, such as Linkedin, which allows you to search for contacts based on company or industry.
You may ask to meet these individuals for a coffee and perhaps you might land a volunteer position in the company or better yet a junior role with the possiblity to move up the ladder.
Sometimes the loudest in the bunch is the person who gets attention. If you are a shy individual, start by getting social early. During your time as student start conversations with fellow students and don’t be afraid to ask questions in class.
If you are too shy to speak up in class, it could be useful to join a discussion group or join a club or organization based on your interests. These communication skills will help build enough confidence to ask for what you deserve as an employee.
Exhaust your school contacts
Look back at your years at the academic institution, did you build any lasting relations with a faculty member, visiting professional or previous colleague with similar career goals? It pays off to get connected whether on social media or via email. Don’t just ask for a reference letter. Keep a consistent professional relationship and perhaps in your next email you may receive a job offer!
Remember professors usually have their own network in your field of study and can serve as useful industry connections. So, don’t hesitate to stay behind after class to ask questions and get more insight on applying for jobs in your field of study.
Polish your resume (CV) and get cracking on that cover letter
Make your resume, or CV, functional and easy to navigate. Most professionals recommend that you submit a one-page resume along with a cover letter.
Don’t forget your resume has to stand out from that pile on a potential employer’s desk. Make sure it is easy to scan in a matter of minutes. It is important that it is concise and easy to read.
Use the cover letter to tell the employer not only what makes you unique, but why your traits are useful for the job. On that note, write a new cover letter for every job you apply for because what one employer finds important, another might overlook. So, read the job description properly and it does not hurt to do a little extra research on the company or organization.
Do the research before the interview
Say you got lucky and you’ve landed an interview at your dream organization. It is important to prepare and do the research that will get you the job.
It is not enough to simply look at generic interview scenarios. Try to understand the role you applied for and anticipate possible questions your interviewee might ask. Browse the company and/or organization’s website and learn their mandate and vision statement.
This will help you prepare what anecdotes to share and help you in highlighting parts of your personality that may be important for the job. Do you speak more than one language? Do you travel often? What is unique about your home country? Playing up your personality and experiences could help you connect with the interviewee on a personal level.
Doing your research also means you will arrive a to the interview prepared with questions. The interviewer does not have to be the only one asking questions!
Our last tip is to be resilient! Any rejection you may face along the way may bring you one step closer to the job of your dreams.
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