So you have been in college for four (or more) years having a great time and "BAM" it hits you one day, you are going to graduate and be expected to get a job, SOON. This idea for many is a very sobering thought. Slowly the depression turns to a kind of panic when you start thinking about all the things you have to do in order to get that job search ball rolling. You don't have time for this, you have finals coming up, you have spring fling coming up, you have to figure out where you want to move, oh my gosh, you need to turn back time! Slow down, take a deep breath. If everyone else has managed to figure it out so can you. It would be nice to have a little road map though, right? I thought I would jot down a few things that you can focus on to get started so some of the mystery is taken out of this whole process.
This is not as scary as it sounds. Sure, you could go look at a bunch of resume and try to come up with one yourself or you could spend big bucks to get some swanky resume service to write a resume for you, but I have a little trick up my sleeve. Ever hear of Fiverr.com? You probably have, but I hadn't until a few months ago and I have to say that I am addicted. I just did a search on Fiverr and there are 275 people who will write a professional resume for you and another 981 who will design an amazing looking resume for you, if you already have it written for $5!! You heard me right 5 dollars. These are all people that have experience and are just trying to make a little extra cash. I would recommend reading the reviews and looking at some of their samples before picking the right resume writer for you.
Seriously, employers look you up online so make sure there is nothing that you don't want them to see and everything that you want them to see. As far as Facebook goes, while you are in your career search mode, I would change your settings so that you have to approve anything that you are tagged in before it goes on your page. I would also either delete anything inappropriate or put really strict setting on your profile so that people that you are not friends with can't see anything on your profile or maybe even can't find you at all. Take an extra step and ask someone who you are not friends with if you can look yourself up on their Facebook account, you would be surprised at what shows up that you thought was hidden. The same rules should apply for Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, Vine, Snapchat etc.
For Instagram make sure that you have to approve anyone before they can follow you.
For Twitter the three things I would change while you are actively searching for a job are to go into your settings and request your Twitter archive. This will show you every tweet you have ever tweeted. Delete any that might not look so great. Then go into your security and privacy settings, under privacy check the box that says "Do not let anyone tag me in photos" and the box that says "protect my tweets." This will make certain that all future tweets of yours will only be available to people who you approve to receive your tweets.
LinkedIn is where you want to look really good. I have written all about it in a previous article so I won't repeat myself but you can read all about it here.
Who do your parents know? Your older siblings? Your friend's older siblings? You never know unless you ask. Go on LinkedIn and figure out the people that you want to be introduced to. ASK for introductions! You would be surprised at how many people would be willing to hop on the phone with you for 20 minutes to give you their advice. At the end of the call, ask them to pass on your resume to their hiring manager. They will almost always do it.
Also, join LinkedIn Groups. Join any groups that have members that have something in common with you: your college, your fraternity, your hobby, your hometown, your love of all things purple etc. Then join groups that are specific to whatever industry you want to be involved in, ie. realtor, financial advisor, supply chain manager, fashion designer etc. Did you know when you you are in the same group with someone you can send them a message for free? People are 5 times more likely to read a personal message that they get in their LinkedIn inbox then they are if they get that same message in their regular e-mail!!
I know I have talked about this over and over again but you need to do it. If you can't afford to get one taken and if you don't have a friend who is a budding professional photographer you can go through your pics on your computer and/ or phone, crop a head shot (DO NOT show any part of anyone that is cut out of the picture) and go to https://www.photofeeler.com/ which is a website where you submit photos and members can vote on whether or not the picture is appropriate for social media. None of you are probably old enough to remember the horrible (but unfortunately a little bit fun) website, HotOrNot.com but if you do, I assure you that this is nothing like that! No hiring manager will ever admit it, but your picture is the first thing they see and most will have an opinion of you before they ever start reading about you. This has nothing to do with looks and everything to do with what your picture says about you.
I know this sounds old school (and maybe a little dorky) but I spent my spring break of my senior year in New York City visiting every TV station, cable network, basically anyone that had anything to do with TV company and walking in and handing them my resume. Their were no online job boards back then (ugh...it does not seem like THAT long ago!!) so this method is seriously old school but guess what? No one else is doing it. What better way to prove how unlazy you are then to walk into a place of business and ask if there is someone that does the hiring that you can personally hand your resume to and introduce yourself?? The beast at the door may or may not let you talk to anyone but even if they just take your resume they will probably take pity on you and at least give you a few pointers on how to get "in" at their company. My dad has always said "the squeaky wheel gets the oil" meaning that if you are the one that is in front of their face and making yourself known, you will get more attention.
So, I would love to hear some stories if any of you try any of the above ideas, good or bad and especially funny. I promise, if I write a book someday I will give you full credit and a free copy!
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Written by Christina Church
Christina Church is a Financial Recruiter and Social Media Marketing Trainer with 15+ years of experience working with recent college graduates as well as senior advisors in the financial industry. She graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in Communication and received her Internet Marketing Certificate from The University of San Francisco.
Christina advises Financial Advisors and recent college grads on how to use social networks to build relationships and deliver value. She spends her time speaking, blogging, writing articles and training.
She has been known to spend her free time writing about herself in the 3rd person and lives in Phoenix, AZ with her husband, 2 daughters and a dog and a cat that could be for sale on any given day. She can be contacted by email at Christina.Church@NorthStarFinancial.com or by connecting with her on Linked In at www.linkedin.com/in/ChristinaChurch.