It’s hard to believe my post-college job search was in full force this time last year.
I’ve said it before, and I still think it reigns true: The job search feels like a full-time job. So when you mix job searching with finishing classes, interning and trying to enjoy the last few months of college, surviving past graduation can feel like an impossible feat.
In honor of my job-searching friends back at Kent State, I’d like to offer a few tidbits to make your search semi-manageable:
Devote scheduled time to job searching every day.
If you don’t manage your time, you’re going to become overwhelmed. (Believe me: Wasting hours per day on job boards is not worth your time! I know from experience.)
Set aside a certain time period every day (perhaps half an hour in the morning and 45 minutes in the evening) to search job boards, follow leads, fill out applications and write cover letters. Your sanity will thank you.
Narrow your target location.
My friends who said they’d move “anywhere” were the ones who had the most problems finding full-time, permanent positions. Being flexible is great, but applying to every job that comes across your computer screen isn’t an effective strategy. Narrow your job search to a few target locations. This will make it easier for you to find relevant positions and activate your network in those areas.
Tell everyone you’re looking for a job.
I’m not kidding. Tell your hair stylist. Tell your chemistry professor. Tell your best friend’s dad.
People know people who know people. Simply mentioning you’re searching for an entry-level position could lead you straight to your dream job- or at least to valuable connections who will help build your network.
Schedule informational interviews.
If your dream employer doesn’t have any available positions at this time, don’t sweat it. Schedule an informational interview. It’s a great way to get your foot in the door and make a connection. Who knows! That company might have an opening in a few months, and if you took the time to make a connection, you could be the first candidate who comes to mind.
Harness the power of a hand-written note.
Don’t underestimate the power of a hand-written note! Thank everyone who helps you throughout your job search, whether it’s a young pro who proofreads your cover letters or a contact who helps you receive a phone interview. Stores like Target and Hallmark sell inexpensive thank-you note packs, so invest today.