There is nothing more frustrating than an adult asking you "So what's the plan now that you've graduated?" Plan... ah yes that is what I was thinking over the past four years as I partied, studied, and got fat from eating crappy dining hall food. I was clearly thinking of the great "Plan" everyone older than me kept asking.
Hate to tell you adult world, but no teenager in their right mind ever has a plan coming out of college. If there is one thing I learned it is this, college didn't help me create a plan, and high school sure as hell didn't either.
Why aren't their courses on how to file taxes, how much should I be saving per year, or how in the hell can I can a job?
So to help new graduates fend off their overbearing parents for what comes with life ahead, here are a few tips to getting a job out of college that no one will teach you.
Use Your Relationships
When I first graduated college, I tried to apply to hundreds of jobs. I spent weeks of my life thinking that my resume made all the difference, when in reality all that effort was for a 10 second glance some recruiter hundreds of miles away brushed over and threw me to the bottom of a giant paper stack. That is not the best way to get an employer to notice you. All you are is a piece of paper with no emotion attached to it. Think of yourself in their shoes, if you owned the company would you rather hire an impressive piece of paper, or a co-workers best friend who had a great referral?
This is something my dad taught me at a young age. While you can study your heart out for years, when it comes down to a 50/50 shot the employer will always choose the more known quantity. They will always choose the safer option. Especially given what you study in college is not what you will be doing when you graduate. Everyone lacks real experience when they first graduate, so build relationships while you're in college, and it will end up paying off for you when you graduate.
Build a LinkedIn
While you start with relationships, a second useful tool is to build a LinkedIn profile. Recruiters, and employers who first look you up on Google, this is the first thing they will take a look at. What LinkedIn today is what a resume was 20 years ago. This will help you start to build your brand, because it not only shows what you are interested in, but it also shows your specialties, and who you are connected with.
When I graduated and built my first LinkedIn profile, I spent a week building up my connections to over 500+ by trying to connect with everyone I could. You can upload your resume in it anyway, and it is easier to find thousands of jobs through LinkedIn where if you had to bulk apply to jobs you can in just a couple of clicks.
However, remember that while LinkedIn is a great way of mass uploading your resume to hundreds of jobs, you will want to utilize your relationships too because the "paper stack" concept applies both ways. Just like an employee is afraid of getting someone who doesn't fit the paper profile, you can end up getting stuck in a job who didn't fit the great description they had posted.
Always try to get an inside scoop on the company culture, it's benefits, and how their leadership is before accepting any offers. Hold yourself to a higher standard, you deserve it.
Find Recruiters, Not Job Postings
This is without a doubt the biggest tip I can offer anyone out of college. It is a waste of your time to apply to hundreds of jobs over the course of a few months, when you can network with a handful of recruiters who literally get paid for getting you a job. Go on LinkedIn, connect with every person in your area with the title recruiter, send them a message telling them about the time of field you are looking into.
These wonderful people get checks and performance KPI's based off the amount of quality folks they bring into an organization. They will set up all your interviews so you don't have to hunt people down. Recruiters also are great at gauging what job you have a real shot of getting, and can tell you about the company culture, benefits, and leadership quality right off the bat.
The more recruiters you can find to start getting interview for you, the more you will realize you have a lot to offer the world. All it takes is a couple helpful tips to get you started.