May brings the season of graduations and is accompanied by the bombing of often unanswerable questions such as, "What are you going to do with your life?" I remember what that was like and although I had a job lined up a few weeks prior to graduation several of my friends walked across the Gallagher-Iba stage with no idea where they would land in January.
The news reports high levels of unemployment and lack of opportunity, but as one of my mentors told me "there will always be a job for someone who is hard working, loyal and willing to seek opportunity." The key is finding those available jobs and this series of posts is dedicated to sharing some job hunting tips that I found useful.
Maribeth Kuzmeski writes in her book "Pomp, Circumstance, and a Real-World Wake-Up Call" one of the keys to finding a job after graduation is to "Mine your social networking connections." She says that you must looks for the fruit closest to the ground. So scan through your social network for anyone who does something you would like to do.
"Also, keep in mind the focus of your networking—social and otherwise—should not be on gaining an immediate job offer from those in your network," says Kuzmeski. "In fact, that tactic almost never works. The goal should, instead, be to build a mutually beneficial relationship with someone who may never be able to give you a job, but might know someone who can.
"For example, maybe someone in your network is in a completely different industry from the one you’re interested in, but has a huge network of friends on Facebook," she adds. "He might not be able to help you in your immediate search, but someone in his network—for example, maybe you’re looking for a teaching job and his mom heads up the local school board—might have the perfect opportunity for you. Don’t count anyone out of your networking efforts, especially those who are the closest to you and therefore the most willing to help."
She also suggests being extremely aware of your online image and reputation because employers pay attention to those details.
"If you have any embarrassing or inappropriate material on your profile, it could be quite off-putting to your potential employer," Kuzmeski advises. "Do yourself a favor and remove those materials. You’re not in college anymore, so from now on when you’re engaging in social media activity, think of yourself as a public figure who may have your every word scrutinized."
She also emphasizes in the book that relationships are the most important when looking for a job.
"No matter where you are in your professional career—just starting out or moving up the ladder—relationships are the real secret to success," says Kuzmeski. "If you can use social media to build strong relationships and connect with employers, you can kick off your professional career by earning a great job opportunity."
One of my favorite tips… Be yourself because afterall, everyone else is taken.
For more information about Maribeth Kuzmeski and her books check out her website.