Congratulations! You survived your last spring break. You and 5 or more good friends traveled to Cancun or another exotic location to escape this frigid, blistering winter. You lived out the movie-script worthy vacation full of stories we can’t recall without jeopardizing your professional future. Stuff happened.
Yet, graduation looms in your not so distant future and you think about the world beyond. Maybe you plan to move home. Your parents want you to work and save money. Maybe working in a new city like Boston or Philadelphia excites you. Out on your own, free from the clutches of your former life, but burdened with new responsibilities.
You need a game plan to establish yourself. Take three steps, maximize your accessibility and earn a great job to kick off your career.
First, get your resume in order. This document liberates you to tell your story and energizes employers about your experience. Your resume must summate your experience through simple, direct writing and enhance your digital presence. The summary atop your resume should describe you, as a professional. Without reading further, recruiting professionals should understand what you fuels your experience at work. If the summary aligns with their organization’s values it’s a great initial match.
As your resume reveals more about you and your professional experience, it must highlight your success rather than describe your duties. Employers want to learn about your triumphs in the workplace! How you coded the first application that transformed your former firm’s business process. How you achieved the highest customer satisfaction rating in your role. Numbers illustrate success. If you offer measurable statistics and explain how you exceeded business goals, you stand out.
While you craft and draw on your experience, write simply and directly. Active verbs engage readers and encourage them to keep reading. Besides the reader appeal, using searchable terms helps recruiters discover you in online communities like LinkedIn. Recruiters increasingly look to social networks.
Second, attend networking events focused on your industry. Building a strong network of professionals lends to opportunities right out of school and beyond. If you consider the career path of many, you discover that their jobs connect because ‘so-and-so’ at ‘X Corporation’ reached out to them about a role. Chamber of commerce and industry specific groups exist for this reason. Go find them.
Last, you must engage with recruiting firms! Lots of organizations lack the necessary internal resources to fill positions. They hire firms like us to quickly identify and hire qualified candidates like you. How do I best engage with these organizations? Submit your resume via submittal portals. Connect on social media with recruiters whose content you enjoy on blogs like this. Human capital firms need candidates like you. Simplify your job search and learn about what these firms can do for you.
Good luck in the last few months of your college career! Leverage every tool available and find a great job for your new, professional life.
Timothy McGuirk leads corporate communication at Marchon Partners. He studies public relations at Boston University’s College of Communication and will graduate in May 2015. Follow him on Twitter @mcguirkt and Intragram @timothymcguirk.