After the excitement of graduation wears off, it seems that all you’re left with is nothing but free time. Now it’s time to get a job, right? Before you send out your resume and pick out your best interview clothes, there are a few things you need to do to make sure you are as prepared as possible for the job hunt. Let’s face it – we can all use polishing every now and then to better ourselves in an effort to land the dream job.
Clean up your social media profiles. Your professors and parents have probably passed along this tip. You grew up during a time when social media was a part of your every day life. You are programmed to update your friends and family on daily occurrences, even if they weren’t all that important. Employers can and will search for your profiles to get a better sense of who you are. Make sure you comb through your posts and photos and take out anything that may not represent you in the best light. And don’t forget to create and update your LinkedIn profile!
Keep your portfolio up-to-date. As a senior, you should have a portfolio of all the work you did during your time in school. You don’t have to keep every single thing you created in the last four years; however, it’s important to use your portfolio to showcase your absolute best work. Also, keep a current copy of your resume in your portfolio as well so employers will learn about you and be able to discuss your experience during the interview.
Be as versatile as possible. As you probably already know, there are many people who are applying for the same jobs as you…with the same abilities as you. It’s never too late to learn a new skill that will set you apart from the others. This will make you more marketable and more desirable to any employer. Once you’ve landed the job, look for ways to improve as well. You never want to stop learning.
Make as many connections as you can. Networking may sound very intimidating and daunting! And, it can be hard if you’ve never done it before. It’s best to do it while you’re still in college, but there will be many chances to network after graduation as well. Joining groups related to your career is a great way to meet people. You are able to meet professionals in your field that can lead you in the right direction. Invite a professional in your field to coffee and pick their brain. Even if they can’t get you a job, they may know someone who’s looking for someone with your talents.
Research anything and everything. Many aspects of public relations focus on researching. When looking at potential jobs, research everything you can about that company. That will help you create questions during your interviews. With the versatility that the public relations field has to offer, explore all of the different jobs that are possible. You could work for a firm managing social media accounts or planning events for various clients. Don’t get stuck looking for “a job,” look for your dream job.
Don’t worry if you don’t find a job right out of college. Use these tips to sharpen your profiles and portfolio. Take the time to learn and perfect your skills. Reach out to as many people as possible to make connections. Read anything and everything you can about the opportunities in your field. You never know what you may find, and it likely will take time to begin your ideal career. Good luck!