Graduating into the IT Industry? Job Search Advice for Grads

May 23rd, 2011 | Job Search | No Comments »

You just graduated. It’s summer and that senioritis is probably still lingering in your veins. It would be easy to kick back and ignore that anxiety about the job market, the current state of the economy, and your dwindling bank account. But this is the real world, and you’re going to have to wake up sooner or later. So here’s a little pep talk for you.

Battle the Graduate Catch 22

It’s a well known and frustrating fact that many employers prefer to hire people with experience. The question, then, becomes how are you supposed to get that experience in the first place?

First, don’t underestimate or neglect previous work experience even if it’s not your chosen career field. It still shows that you have real world experience, and you can relate learned soft skills to most any job, like teamwork, leadership, communication skills, and problem solving.

Secondly, as much as you’re aching for a full time money-making job, think about internship opportunities or even volunteering. You can find opportunities like these within your career field, which will build your experience, plus fill in the resume gap that is growing between your graduation date and today.

Be Proactive and Kick the Senioritis

As a first time job seeker, it’s tempting to hang out solely on the job boards. But the truth is, your time is better spent elsewhere, and a little more effort could result in a lot more opportunity.

Chances are you’re already well versed in social media, so clean up your online image and get networking on all platforms, including LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. Make meaningful connections with companies, people in your local area and chosen career field, recruiters and HR people, and fellow job seekers. A word of caution – avoid appearing desperate! Make sure you’re providing value and good conversation instead of filling every status update about your joblessness.

That lingering senioritis may also make it tempting to create a generic resume, which you send to every employer. The trick to getting hired, however, is to customize your resume and cover letter to each company you apply to. Make yourself stand out from the masses of other graduates.

It’s More than Just a Job

Don’t fall into the trap of being money-motivated in your job search. Be aware of factors like company culture, team dynamic, industry preferences, and overall values. Find somewhere that gets you excited about working there, do your research about the company, and express your enthusiasm in the interview. Focus on what you want in your career path, and be prepared for the steps you’ll have to take to get there.

Make Mom and Dad Proud

Take these simple tips to heart, and chances are you’ll find a great job and kick off your career! To recap, pump up your work experience, network like crazy, customize your resume, and do your research about the company.

Clare Saumell – Marketing Director at Ashley Ellis

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