01 June 2015
Author: The ExecuSearch Group
New grads often have optimistic views for the future, and this year, those optimistic views are warranted. According to Marketplace.org, “hiring of college graduates this year (2014-15) will be up by 16 percent over last year.” A recent survey indicates that industries with the most promising outlook for new grads include information technology, finance, and nonprofit. Regardless of one’s major, though, things are looking up for this year’s grads—as they should! After several years of working hard to achieve their goals, new grads deserve to find work that is engaging, rewarding, and a good match for their skills. So how can they take advantage of this improving economy? Here are a few steps to tackling the 2015 job market and finding the right position for you: Step 1: Take stock of your strengths, weaknesses, and goals. Everyone has different goals and expectations out of college, but this first step is a necessity for both those with a clear “dream job” and those without. If you’re not entirely sure what you want to do post-graduation, taking some time to assess your skills and how they can help you in the job market is helpful for defining a clearer goal. If you have your heart set on a specific career path, your dream job may not be what you think it is, so still assess before taking action. Step 2: Identify a few target companies and do your research. This is a more focused method than sending your resume out to scores of random job postings, and is more likely to land you a position with a company you’ll work well in. Hiring managers and job seekers alike are beginning to put greater focus on company culture and finding a good “match” in the hiring process, and taking the time now to get acquainted with several companies in your industry can give you a head start on that matchmaking process. In addition, approximately 50% of jobs are a part of what’s called the “hidden job market” and aren’t advertised at all—so targeting a company you’d love to work for and sending in a resume, regardless of their postings, could result in an unexpected call. Step 3: Tap into your network. Still unfamiliar with networking? We have plenty of advice on how to network efficiently, but first, get familiar with who your network consists of. As a recent grad, your network likely includes the following helpful connections: Professors and alumni in your field LinkedIn connections (if you don’t have a LinkedIn profile, now’s the time to make one!) Past co-workers and/or hiring managers from part-time jobs, internships, etc. If you’re unsure where to begin, simply reach out and ask how each of these people are doing, and make sure to keep an organized list of who you’ve contacted—that way you know when to follow up, who you have and haven’t reached out to, etc. Keeping your email organized so you don’t miss any correspondence is also helpful, but don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and add a personal touch! Step 4: Take on a mentor. A mentor is a great addition to your already-existing network. This can be a recruiter or a seasoned professional in your field—whomever you choose, just make sure you work well with that person and have a genuine interest in what they do. Mentorship is a two-way street, and though many mentees may not realize it, the mentor should benefit from the relationship as well. Step 5: Stay organized—and not just with networking. There are a lot of postings and job boards out there, so keep an Excel sheet of all your applications with headers such as “job title,” “company,” “job board,” “date applied,” and “last contact.” This will help you ensure you follow up within a reasonable amount of time if you don’t hear aback about a position, and that you don’t accidentally follow up more than once. In addition, keeping such a list can also help you avoid the embarrassing double-application to the same role. Looking for more job search advice? Check out our other Career + Job Search articles. Good luck new grads, and congratulations!