Searching for a job is not just about writing an application and making a resume - and pressing "send". It is much more than that.
Here we have lined up 10 good tips for your job search.
- Know your skills. Find out what you are able to do. Think about which projects you did during your studies, and the skills you acquired. Perhaps you were good at giving presentations, and maybe you worked constructively with case problems. Consider whether you have specific skills or are more of a generalist, who is good at a little bit of everything. Also look at the curriculum from your studies, where you will find information about what you should be able to do after graduation. If you did an internship or had a student job, then describe your tasks, what difference you made in the workplace and what you learned from it. That really counts on your resume.
- Know yourself. Find out what characterizes your way of working, and use it actively in your job search. Are you the one who takes control of the group or would you rather be assigned to a specific task? Also think about which tasks you have had the most fun with during your studies. Maybe you experienced a sense of flow and got a kick out of something specific. If you know yourself, you can better describe yourself in a job application, which helps you find out what kind of job you should aim for.
- Who are you online? Google yourself. Your future employer will, so find out how you appear on the web. Perhaps embarrassing photos pop up that you should consider removing.
- Update your Facebook profile. It is time to remove the profile photo(s) with a beer in your hand, and replace it with a slightly more neutral and professional picture. It does not have to be boring, but it helps looking sober. Also look through your pictures, which you uploaded five years ago. Perhaps there are a few pictures that your future employer does not need to see.
- Create (or update) your LinkedIn profile. It is time to create a professional resume online. And yes, it is important. Many headhunters and companies use LinkedIn as a recruitment platform. Give your profile a professional look with a proper profile picture (no holiday and party photos, please!) and write your profile text to reflect your skills, what you are looking for, and which work experiences and education you have. Your profile is your online job application.
- Time to network. Now is the time to think strategically about whom in your current network could open the door to your first job. Look through your Facebook friends and LinkedIn connections and see who is working in exciting positions in interesting companies. Add your teachers on LinkedIn. They often have a big network and they know what you stand for. Also consider your friends' parents - maybe they can open the door to your first job. See the possibilities in the people that surround you.
- Choose the companies. Rather than start looking through random open positions, it might be a good idea to think about where you want to work. Are there any companies that you find interesting? Perhaps you've heard good things about the working environment at a specific company or maybe a certain industry or product appeals to you? And remember, it is not always about getting the right position from the start, but getting one’s foot in the door at the right company. One job can quickly lead to the next, as companies often recruit internally before they search for candidates externally.
- Work environment. We often forget that the work environment is one of the most important factors, rather than our salary and the “right” job title. Do employees have fun together, is the mood good, do people work in their own offices or in an open office environment? These are things that can be important to your job satisfaction. Go out and visit the company - ask for a tour or sit in the foyer and feel the atmosphere. Could you see yourself working there?
- Do research. Do some research before you send off a job application. It is okay to be skeptical of a company, which can help you point out what a difference you can make to their business, but remember to be humble. And make sure you spell the company name right - check out their website to see how they write the company name in the body text. It does matter.
- Match your job application and resume with the company. Customize your job application and resume to the individual company. And yes, that applies every time. Maybe the course from your grocery shop job is not relevant to have on your resume every time. Emphasize to describe the projects from the study that are most relevant to the job you seek. Your projects, your internship and your student job is your work experience - use it actively!
Good luck with your job search!