It's officially summer. Most colleges (at least in my area) have already been out for a month now. For some people, graduation season could also mean job searching time. I briefly mentioned in one of my posts before, I had a very difficult time finding a job after I graduated from college. These are the things that I learned in hindsight that I wish I could do better. Also, these things are definitely something you might have heard many, many times before, but I would love to share from my own experience WHY they are important.
Have someone review your resume
Honestly, this was the only right thing I prepared myself that was extremely helpful. I would highly suggest you have someone review your resume when you're still on campus. My school has the career center that has professional staff who can help you with editing your resume. I made a few visits before graduating to have my resume reviewed by them. It's hard to find this kind of free resources once you leave the school, so definitely don't miss out this kind of opportunity!
Practice your interview skills
Not only do you have to look great on paper, you also have to be able to reflect it in person. I will be honest, this was something that I did not do well when I first got out of school. And I didn't realize how lack of preparation I was till I look back to the experience afterward. There are so many practice interview questions online. Read those up, think about what answers you can provide for each question, take notes, and rehearse them. In addition to prepare for questions about yourself, you also have to do some homework and learn about the company, knowing it's mission and value, what challenges it's facing, and so on. Again, take notes and practice. You might get nervous during the interview, but if you practice enough, it could really help you get out of those blank moments.
From many interviews I went to, there was one that I still remember to this day and wish I could've done better. I knew that I was one of the last two people that were in the final round of the interview. I went there, and my interviewer was really kind and told me a lot about the position and the company; she didn't ask me questions about me. In the end, though, she asked me if I have anything I want to ask or talk about. And guess what I did. Nothing. Yep. Instead of taking this chance to talk about my skills and experience and show them why I would be a good fit for the role, I did nothing. Not surprisingly, I didn't get the job. And it felt more horrible for me because I knew how close I was from getting it, and I completely bombed it by not preparing enough. So really, do your research, get familiar with the questions, and rehearse. And don't forget to prepare some questions to ask your interviewers!
Network; connect with people
This is something that I'm really bad at but still had a relatable experience to know the importance. You might have heard stories of your friends who got a job through someone they know or some sort of connection. I certainly have. I was in no way the kind of person who would reach out and ask for a referral or even a reference. However, I have to tell you, connecting with people really could be a big help for you getting a job.
For my last position, I was hired as a front-line associate for a tourist spot. The temp agency that I actually went visit in person contacted me when the opportunity opened up before the summer. I went on the interview, got the job, and got hired right before the peak season hit. After being busy for a couple of months, when fall came, our hours started to get impacted. For the people like me who were hired for the season, we weren't sure if our hours would get cut or if they'd just let us go. Fortunately for me, there was another job opened up in a different department, which my skills were a match for. My previous manager recommended me for the position. I got it, and it was what I have been doing until now!
Although my experience was passive comparing to what I used to hear, I still got the position because of the connection I have. Of course, I understand that I got lucky to have this opportunity fell on me at the right moment. Nevertheless, it still showed me the importance of connection because the more people you know, the more opportunities would open up for you. So it doesn't hurt to network with more people.
Job searching can be hard, but you should never get discouraged. Take any chance that comes your way and learn from it. Your experience will eventually bring you to the road that you want to be on, so make sure you prepare yourself for it. Best of luck to everyone who's looking for a job right now!