Tips for College Graduates on Job Hunting

Recently, I heard more exciting updates from students that they found their dream jobs. Congratulations to those who got job offers! For the others who are still in the job market, they may find it useful to watch this ABC News video about tips on job hunting:

Tip No. 1: Look for a person, not a job. Networking is extremely important in job hunting --- knowing the right person will very likely lead to the right opportunity with the right job. Statistically, 80% of jobs are filled by referrals; 80% of jobs never got advertised before they are filled. This is very true. Quite a few of my colleagues recently found very good career opportunities because of referrals.

Relevant discussion: Social Media Job Search Tactics; Revisit Social Media and Job Search; Social Media and Job Search III.

Tip No. 2: Figure out what you want to do – or fake. First of all, if a job seeker does not know what s/he wants, nobody can help her/him. Then, job seeking is different from internship seeking. It may work if a student wants to “explore” his/her career options in an internship, but it may not work in job hunting. If a job candidate cannot tell what s/he wants to do, how can a recruiter access this person’s long-term “fit” with the company? In a competitive market like no others, why will a company want to invest in a person without knowing his/her career goal?

Tip No. 3: Clean up your professional persona. Pay attention to every detail, from professional dress, resume paper, punctuality, tunes of speech, words or slang used in conversations etc. Everything must be “perfect.”

Relevant discussion: Dress to Impress: “Old-Fashioned” Business Attire Still Works; Smart Phone Etiquette

Tip No. 4: Access your transferable skills. Research and consider the competencies required for a specific job and see how a job seeker may relate his/her strengths and previous experience to the job. Be sure to use quantifiable examples to demonstrate a job candidate’s skills and abilities.

Relevant discussion: Cover Letter, Resume, and LinkedIn

Tip No. 5: Get over yourself. A candidate should not sound arrogant or naive. Instead, s/he must show that s/he can follow through a task and take initiatives at work.

Tip No. 6: Be careful if you wear piercings and tattoos.

Relevant discussion: Is It OK for Hotel Staff to Wear Piercings and Tattoos?; Does Tattoos Go Alone With Professionalism? 

How useful do you think of these tips? What is your (successful or not-so-successful) experience of job hunting?

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