Leaving college and starting your first job is a stressful and confusing time for most of us. After four years of classes, internships, and exams, you’re finally ready to get out there and start a life of your own with your own job and making your own money.
But today’s workforce is a competitive place and if you’re not prepared, you won’t find success. If you want to make the most of your first job, here are four job search tips for today’s college grad:
1. Apply Creatively
With so many people fighting for the same jobs, you probably aren’t going to get noticed by just submitting a standard resume. Companies can get hundreds of applications for each job that they post, so if you want your name to stand out in the crowd you’ll need to get creative.
If you’re looking to get a job in TV, movies, or the film industry, create a cool video resume explaining what you can bring to the company. If you’re a marketer or graphic designer, show your skills by turning your resume into a neat infographic. Other creative options include creating your own interactive website or blog.
2. Apply Everywhere
Don’t allow your geographic location to limit your job search. Unlike the days of when our parents were hunting for jobs, the internet has completely revolutionized the way we do business. Because so much work can be done online, it isn’t uncommon for companies to hire individuals who live in different cities to work remotely. While this may not be an option for everyone and every company, it is always worth a shot.
By looking at new cities and considering the possibility of remote work, you expand your pool of potential jobs drastically, making it easier to get hired. If you limit yourself to only available jobs in the area that you live in, you may struggle to get hired. Obviously, this idea does not apply to jobs, such as those in the medical industry, where it is crucial you are meeting with clients or other individuals.
3. Be Ready for Drug Tests
With your years of partying in college behind you, you need to prepare yourself to be a reliable and responsible adult. While this doesn’t mean you need to push your bedtime back to 8:30 pm, you should be prepared for possible drug and alcohol testing when looking for a job. It is not uncommon for a potential employer to ask you to be tested before they consider hiring you.
Even after getting the job, random drug tests should be expected. There are some jobs and careers where frequent drug testing is more regular, but just about any employer can ask you to submit a drug and alcohol test whenever they wish. If you hope to be promoted, you may also face another drug test before you are given the job.
4. Be Alert on Social Media
While you have been warned about the dangers of what you put on social media in the past, you probably continued to use your Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to communicate with friends in a relaxed setting. After years of college, that could mean you have a whole timeline full of photos at parties or comments about being drunk. While these are all fun and games during college, they could actually cost you a job.
While you may think your employer will never find your social media pages, it is actually one of the first things they will look for when they consider bring you in for an interview. For most companies, it doesn’t even matter if the posts or images are years old. To get your profiles ready for hiring season, delete or hide any compromising posts or photos.
While it is stressful, there are ways to navigate the job market and get the job of your dreams. To make the most of your experience and ensure you don’t sabotage your own job search, keep these four tips in mind with each job that you apply for.
This article was contributed by guest author Melanie Nathan.