If thoughts about the current job market are stressing you out, take a deep breath. It is completely normal to feel the job market jitters, especially if you are on the hunt for your first post-college job. Not there yet? Even better! It is NEVER too early in your college career to start adding work to your resume, networking with potential job contacts, or working on your job application materials such as cover letter, work samples, and social media presence.
You might feel uncertain of how to proceed during this time, but never fear! There is a lot you can do to prepare while you are quarantining or as things are beginning to return to the new normal. All you have to do is harness the tools and resources that are available to you from home. Here are some helpful tips and tools you can use to make you stand out from the crowd.
- Explore Career Paths
If you don’t know where to start, it can be helpful to spend some time looking at different career paths that fit your strengths, interests, and qualifications. Lucky for you, there are some great online tools to help you do just that. Try My Career Shines, Vault, and The Muse to get started.
- Spruce up your LinkedIn
LinkedIn is an essential job search and networking platform these days. Make sure you have a professional and updated LinkedIn page before you hit the job market. Check out our LinkedIn webinar to learn more about building an engaging LinkedIn profile.
- Audit your social media pages
Don’t forget, your social media accounts are just a click away from potential employers. You don’t want to lose out on a job with a sloppy personal account! Need some pointers? Check out our Take Stock in College Social Media trainings: 13 Social Media Tips You Can Use and How to Keep Your Personal and Professional Social Media Separate.
- Update your resume
It’s important to keep your resume up to date throughout your college career and beyond; you never know when a job opportunity will open up! To get started, check out our blog post on resume and cover letter writing. Looking for a strong sample? Review this recent college grad resume.
- Network from home
We can’t get out there and shake hands right now, but we can still network. Networking is the process of making and maintaining professional contacts. Of course, LinkedIn is a great option for online networking. But you can also send emails to professors and professionals in your job field. You should also take a look at www.findspark.com. Findspark puts together a bunch of in-person and virtual networking events for interns and recent college grads. Remember, you can also practice your networking on www.takestockconnnect. Today’s Takes Stock scholars are tomorrow’s workforce leaders; it is never too early to make a professional connection that will last a lifetime.
- Research potential employers
Whether you are interviewing or applying to jobs, smart job seekers do their company research. Not only should you look at their website to learn about the company, but you should also visit sites like Glassdoor and CareerBliss. These websites offer useful information about company pay, benefits, culture, and even interviewing practices.
- Research salary averages
Once you receive a job offer, be ready to negotiate a salary and benefits package. Use tools like PayScale and Salary.com to compare average salaries for your dream job. This simple expediency will help you develop a target salary to aim for.
Whether you are looking for a summer job or at the beginning your new career, there is plenty you can do! If you need any help getting started or want someone to look over your LinkedIn for you don’t hesitate to make an appointment with your Take Stock College Completion Coach. We are here to help you accomplish your goals!