7 Job Hunting Tips for Students
It’s never too early to start thinking about job hunting tips. If you are a student in high school or college, then you know what the world is saying about you. Everyone is always forthright with their sympathy, talking about how “sorry” they feel for you. It’s going to be so tough for (insert your name) to get a job. The US is so far behind the rest of the world. Our education system is broken. The global marketplace is going to be a killer on today’s youth. It’s tiring. So why not go out there and prove the naysayers wrong?
We’ve put together a list of job hunting tips and designed especially for students, so that you can do just that. Let’s get started!
1. Be realistic.
The first thing that you need to do as a student thinking about jobhunting, is to set realistic expectations about the types of jobs that you will be able to get it. While some well-meaning people will try to tell you that you can do anything you set your mind to or that you may as well apply for certain positions because “you never know,” the reality is that you need to focus on jobs that you have a legitimate shot of getting. The lottery mindset has never been a good one to have when it comes to job hunting.
So how do you go about setting realistic goals? You focus on your strengths and passions. What are the classes that you do really well in? What is your major? What would you rather spend your time doing than anything else from a professional standpoint? The answers to these questions should guide you in the appropriate direction.
2. Work to keep your resume at a single page.
Writing a resume can be intimidating if you have never done it before. One of the biggest mistakes that new resume writers make, is that they try to throw in everything but the kitchen sink. They may also overdo their accomplishments. Job recruiters and hiring personnel are not looking for longer works of fiction or nonfiction. They are looking for a document that they can browse over with a glance to see if you are qualified for the job in which you are applying. The tougher that you make it on them, the less likely they are to want to hire you. They can see through the BS, even if you think you are good at it.
3. Show a willingness to work for free.
There is an old saying that goes something like this: “pride goeth before a fall.” Unfortunately, many young people today, and in years past for that matter, have grown thinking that there is something wrong with working for free. While we will agree with you that it is not a long-term strategy for success, it is always advisable to work for free if it results in marketable experience. We have all been there before where you have to have experience to get a job, but you have to have a job to get experience. Being able to stand up, volunteer, and show people what you were capable of without expecting anything in return is still one of the most effective ways of dealing with this catch-22.
4. Stay focused on your studies.
How you perform in school may matter less the further you get away from graduation day, but when you have no experience to go on, it is one of the most vital things either working in your favor or working against you. For now, you should take your coursework seriously and extend the opportunities into your community, getting involved in community services and making as many contacts as you can along the way. C’s, D’s, and F’s are not the hallmarks of a person who is serious about making an impact, and they will make it harder for you to get people behind you as you work to become more marketable.
5. Research a company and position before interviewing with them.
One of the biggest mistakes that most students looking for a job make before showing up to the interview is thinking that they can go in cold and make a positive impression on the people hiring. If you enter a job interview without doing any research on the company or the position, you send a message to the people interviewing you that the job was not worth your time to brush up on. Advanced research will place you ahead of 90% or more of your competition. It will also give you a better idea as to whether the job you are seeking is something that you would even enjoy doing.
6. Don’t give up on getting a reference.
We all have black marks on our employment history. (Or at least most of us do.) There can be a temptation when you leave a job badly to act like that job never existed, forgoing your experience in hopes of avoiding a negative report. But here’s the thing: negative experiences do not necessarily result in bad recommendations. In fact, if you still have allies at the old job, you may be able to work around the personnel you had issues with in the first place. An old job hunting trick that we have employed in the past is to reach out to someone in management, who valued our contributions, and to ask them if they would speak on your behalf as a reference.
7. Keep up with your reference list.
Finally, on the topic of references, it can be frustrating keeping up with all of the people who want to recommend you and their contact information. Social media has made this easier than ever before, but you never know when someone will deactivate their account or pull it from a social network altogether. If at all possible, get the people who don’t mind being your references to give you their email address – the one they actually use regularly – and check in with them from time to time. Make sure the address, phone number, and other pertinent contact information is up-to-date. Keep all of this data on your computer or in a cloud drive so that you can always access it anytime you need it.
So there you have it, class: 7 Job hunting tips for students that should make the process much easier and bridge the gap from no-experience to employment. What are some questions that you still have about getting that first job? Share your inquiries in the comment section below.
[Image via iEasyWorld]