Posted By Caroline Ceniza-Levine
My guess is that December grads took time off to celebrate and to recharge. That’s great because you need to be refreshed and approach your search with a clear head. But you’ve also graduated in a tough job market so plan to refresh periodically while getting back to work right now.
Cover yourself. How will you pay your living expenses? How long can you take for your search? Run your numbers. If your available cash will not last at least four months, plan on adding to it with side jobs that you can do while you search. Temp agencies are ideal because many temp jobs may lead to permanent work, but also think retail, babysitting, tutoring, and restaurant work. Don’t necessarily worry about finding a paying job that adds to your resume. If you can do that, great. But the ability to stay afloat while you search is just as important but completely separate from your actual search.
Put yourself out there. Online job boards are nice because they are easy to search and you can get ideas for companies and types of jobs. However, everyone takes the easy road so there will be more competition. Furthermore, in a volatile economy like we have now, job listings get stale quickly, and many companies may not refresh their postings as quickly, so job boards may be outdated. Instead, try to get live interactions using your personal network and active calling into your target companies. Your search needs to look more like a sales effort than a marketing campaign.
Get help. Ask friends who recently got hired for their best tips. Find a mentor in the career you want. Use your college resources (see Connie’s blog below). Hire a coach to strategize with you and keep you accountable. Many of our clients wait till they’ve blown it with their leads before seeking help. In this market, mistakes are magnified, and there are fewer second chances. If you think your resume or interview skills or networking technique is weak, don’t waste your time and your opportunities just winging it. Partner with a pro and get it done right the first go-round.
Now What? On-Campus / Advice for December Grads
Posted By Connie Thanasoulis-Cerrachio
December grads, still without a job, need to schedule informational interviews because informational interviews will lead to other informational interviews that will ultimately lead to a job. Here are three steps that should yield at least 30 informational interviews for any December grad:
Step One: Keep in touch with Career Services. Most Career Services offices also deal with alumni, especially in this economic climate. So find a friend there and partner with them for your job search. Who do they know? Can they help you schedule 5 – 10 informational interviews? Informational interviews should focus on you asking questions of the business manager: How did you succeed in this industry? What do you like best about your job? What has been your career path? What advice would you give to me at this point in my career? Informational interviews are not about asking for a job… they are about getting information and asking for more people you can talk to.
Step Two: Keep in touch with your professors and teaching assistants. Ask if they can help schedule 5 – 10 informational interviews for you. They know a lot of people … so be persistent here. Chances are you’ve had quite a few professors while at school … so “ask and you shall receive” referrals. Contact those referrals and offer to buy them a cup of coffee so you can get to know their success tactics. Everyone likes to talk about how they’ve succeed.
Step Three: There are no courses given in college on “How to Network”. Yet, it’s the most important thing you can do. Talk about your job search to everyone and anyone you know. Most people know about 250 people. Talk to your mom & dad’s friends, talk to your relatives, talk to the guy at the Deli you go to, the dry cleaners, the supermarket, the bank. Talk to your neighbors. Don’t stop talking and asking for contacts until you have at least 10 people that you can have an informational interview with.
The three steps above should yield you at least 30 informational interviews and that is a very good start. Stay focused, positive and motivated throughout your search. It’s an absolute necessity! Approach every interaction and every interview in a positive manner and do not bring the mood down in the room. When anyone asks you how you are doing, respond “great – I’m very focused on meeting talented individuals from different companies” or “very good, thanks – I’m making good progress and things are looking up”. Even if things are not going well … act like they are. Positive in, positive out will yield good things.
Congratulations on the future job you will no doubt land!