This is the time of year I get a lot of calls from soon-to-be-college graduates wanting resumes. I also hear from parents and grandparents who want to give a new resume as a graduation gift.
While a professionally written resume can help, I want to share some thoughts with you about other things new grads should think about when looking for that first job.
- Don’t just look for jobs based on salary. Consider the money, yes, but more importantly, think about the job in longer terms. Will it give you opportunities to learn, hone your skills, use your education, and advance in your career or simply be a short-term thing (or even worse, a dead-end job)?
- Don’t be in a big hurry. Finding a job takes time and commitment. Think of finding your new job as a full-time job in, and invest the time to research opportunities and make important decisions.
- Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Remember, looking for jobs online is just one option (and maybe not even the best one). Get your resume to companies that haven’t advertised jobs. Network with friends, family, friends of family, professors, fellow students, and anyone else who might give you a lead on a great job. Don’t worry about “bothering” people; think about getting the job.
- Don’t believe everything you read and hear from the news media and naysayers. Sure it’s a tough job market but not an impossible one. There are jobs available if you look hard enough and in the right places. Don’t get discouraged; stay optimistic and committed to finding the job that’s right for you.
- Don’t mind starting at the bottom. Sure you have a college degree and, yes, it adds strength to your resume. But universities graduate tens of thousands of people every year, so having the degree doesn’t guarantee you’ll start at the top (or even close to the middle). It doesn’t even guarantee you’ll start at all. It’s just another tool in your job-search toolbox. And it takes a lot of them to build your career.
Sue Montgomery is a Certified Professional Resume Writer & Career Coach with 20+ years of experience creating resumes, cover letters and other tools that market people for the jobs they want. Sue is founder and president of Resume Plus.