Job searching is rough. I’ve been looking for a full-time post-grad job since about April now. I was having such a hard time even getting emails or phone calls back until I started ramping up my search and using all the job search resources available to me.
It’s easy to fall into the mindset that because you’re graduated someone will just want to hire you. While this might be true, and something might just fall in your lap or you may get offered the first job you apply for, it also may not happen. And it’s good to prepare and learn now that not everything goes as planned and to recognize that you may have to work harder than you did in school to get what you want. Real life is brutal my friends.
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So today I wanted to share all of the job search resources I’ve been using and hopefully make landing your first post-grad job, or maybe just another new job, easier for you!
First up, we have the forever reigning LinkedIn. You’ve probably heard about using LinkedIn as an online resume since high school by now. It’s got to be the most known job search resource but how popular it is. I remember making one was a class assignment in one of my freshman seminar classes. But the thing is, no one ever really taught me how to use it?
If you’re like me then all you knew you had to do was:
- Have a professional profile photo (no selfies on this social media)
- List job experience
- List education
- List volunteer experience
- Connect with friends and co-workers
And while yeah, having all of these things is what LinkedIn is built for, it’s not using it to its full potential and won’t give you as much traction as it would if you were to put more effort into it. I have legitimate proof, too.
I was so skeptical about there being a “right” way to use LinkedIn as my boyfriend so lovingly called it. But one night I sat down with him and he walked me through stuff. Here’s what I changed:
- Added every single person suggested that I had ever met at least once
- Updated my summary to be keyword heavy and more of a summary of my experience and not just a bio
- Followed companies I want to work for and went through their employee lists seeing if anyone has a position I want. If I found one, I looked at their background and maybe connected with them and asked them about their position
- Applied for jobs even if I didn’t fit all the criteria
As I said, I made all of these changes one night and the next morning I had an email from a company asking for an interview. Aka you need to update your LinkedIn. It might make all the difference.
Since starting my job search, I’ve learned that more people use Indeed as a job search tool than they do LinkedIn? At least, everyone I’ve talked to has. I personally prefer it using it over Linkedin, too.
Indeed is basically just a place employers and recruiters go and post open jobs. Think of it like online shopping, but for jobs. (Anything to keep from giving up, right?) The only downfall I’ve found is that sometimes you click on apply, it will take you to another web page only to find out the job isn’t open anymore. Nothing worse than finding the perfect position for you only to discover it’s already been filled.
Unlike LinkedIn, I did post my resume on my Indeed profile. Anyone can find me on LinkedIn and I don’t want everyone looking at my resume, but not everyone can find your profile on Indeed. Only employers can see your profile and contact you on Indeed. I do want to note though, that anyone can see your resume by using the Find Resumes tool. However, the cool thing is that Indeed will remove the header of your resume that includes all your personal info so there is no name attached!
Don’t dismiss the Find Resumes tool just for employers though! It’s a great way to see how other people structure their resumes and to see what skills and job requirements are for the job titles you’re looking to apply for.
Empower Your Job Search Course
After letting my boyfriend help me, and realizing there was nothing wrong with accepting help, I decided to enroll in a course for job searching. I found out about this course from the creator, Alli. She emailed me about it and I admit, I was skeptical at first. (Sorry girl!) But after Alli enrolled me in the course and I went through a few lessons, I think it’s an amazing job search resource.
I loved how all the videos were transcribed, so I could either read the material or watch the video, or even both at the same time. Really take that information in ya know?
Alli goes beyond “lecturing” and gives examples, quizzes, worksheets, and workbooks to complete. All of which can be downloaded from the lessons or from the course in Google Drive. I particularly loved the Company Research and Interviewing lessons and the Company Worksheets. They really helped me prepare for one of my interviews at a company I wasn’t too familiar with!
Even cooler is the fact that if you don’t wanna splurge the full amount for the course, you can buy just the pieces you really need help with. Whether it be resume building, networking, or nailing interviews, you can buy those lessons separately and start ramping up your job search ASAP. And you can use code LIFEWITHCAITLYN to get 20% off your order until August 5th. Which is actually my 22nd birthday. Whoop whoop!!
Past Conferences Attended
I was thinking about networking one day and suddenly remembered the big company fair at the conference I went to last fall. So I pulled up the Grace Hopper Celebration website and looked to see if they had any resources I could yes. And let me tell you, JACKPOT.
Not only did GHC have a resume database, but they also provided a free resume evaluation through Top Resume. I submitted mine and got really valuable feedback that helped me edit the layout and sections of my resume. Now, my resume looks more professional and more accurately represents me as a working individual.
If you’ve ever attended any conferences, I highly recommend you to look up to see if they have any networking or job searching resources for you to take advantage of.
Your Alma Mater Career Center
The last job search resource I have for you is your alma mater. Some schools provide free career center access even after you’ve graduated, and most have a database where companies post job openings.
NKU has a tool called HireNKU where employers post jobs and you can search by applicable majors and career fields. I know other colleges have similar tools as well! Don’t forget to always check back in with your alma mater to see if there are any job postings you could apply for.
Also, some schools also still allow you to use their actual career center at no cost. That means you could go get your resume looked over, ask for career advice, and do mock interviews for free with professionals!
Shop the outfit
As of when I’m writing this, I still do not have a full-time job, but I haven’t given up hope. Ever since implementing the advice I give in this post I’ve gone from having my applications ignored to at least get interviews. I’d say that’s progress!
The last thing I want to say is don’t give up. If you’re been job hunting for a long time and feel discouraged, don’t give up hope! You will find something soon if you put enough time and energy into it. So here’s to us finding the perfect full-time jobs for us!
What job search tips would you give a post-grad?
photos by Noel Waltz
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