7 Job Search Tips and Tools for Millennials
Parents of young adults and Millennials deserve to feel proud of their kids and also give themselves a self-congratulatory pat on the back when their child graduates from college. For those graduates who are ready to start working and beginning a job search, the hunt should begin not after graduation, but in the beginning of their last semester of college. As everyone is aware, job hunting is so much more than it was when the parents of Millennials were young, and companies would go to a college campus ready to offer positions to eager young men and women, or resumes were mailed in response to want-ads in the newspapers. Looking for a job involves so much more now.
Be Prepared for a Lot of Work
For a lucky few, jobs are easy to find and they graduate on Friday with a new job waiting for them on Monday. For most graduates, however, graduation is just the beginning of one of the toughest times in a young person's life - finding the right first job. In this situation, it's important to look at finding a job as if it actually is a job. Keeping a schedule, getting up each morning at a reasonable hour, tracking contacts, following up with inquiries, even pounding the pavement a bit - all of these things can not only help with the job hunt, but they can keep a young job seeker from feeling aimless and disappointed. Just like getting into college, finding the right job takes time, focus and enthusiasm.
Find the Best Job Search Sites
Also check out niche job search sites, which can take a job seeker directly to jobs that are specifically for their particular skills or interests.
Find a Mentor
Finding a mentor ideally begins long before graduation. Through internships, volunteer work, part time jobs or with professors, finding someone to give advice and guidance is invaluable and can make the difference between finding a good job and the right job. Mentorships can be either a natural development between two people or, in some cases, students can request someone they admire to mentor them. Either way, finding guidance and help for the job search is a great way to improve the chances of getting a job that is fulfilling and exciting.
Search for role models you can look up to and people who take an interest in your career. But here’s an important warning: You don’t have to have mentors who look like you. Had I been waiting for a Black, female Soviet specialist mentor, I would still be waiting. Most of my mentors have been old White men, because they were the ones who dominated my field.
—Condoleeza Rice, director of Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business’s Global Center for Business and the Economy, and former U.S. secretary of state - Fast Company
Use Social Media to Your Advantage
The first thing any new job hunter needs to do is create a LinkedIn profile. Take the time to make it as clean, intelligent and positive as possible. The next thing to do is clean up their social media profiles. College was a lot of fun, but employers don't need to see your spring break or sorority mixer photos. Take down any images that are less than flattering or present a party image to employers.
LinkedIn is also an excellent source for job listings.
Get a professional headshot for all of your job search profiles. If you don't have the funds or access to someone to take a good headshot, find a photo of you that you particularly like, crop out anyone else and fix it up with a site like PicMonkey.
Take A Risk
If there was ever a time to test the waters in the job world, it's now. Graduating from college with a degree doesn't automatically mean a young adult is certain of what they want to do for a career. Trying out something that interests them but perhaps doesn't pay as well as they'd like is better done when they are just getting started, than a few years into their careers when they will have established expenses, perhaps a family, and not as much wiggle room to take a risk.
For some young adults figuring out what to do can be more difficult than finding a job. There are unique careers that may fit the bill for an undecided job seeker.
Go Where the Jobs Are
Finding a job can be much easier if college graduates are prepared for the job market they are heading into. Research should begin before a college major is declared, even before the search for a college begins. Heading to college with a specific career in mind, one that is growing and has increasing opportunities, can take a lot of the stress off of finding a job upon graduation. Some of the hottest current job markets include data scientist, computer systems analyst, financial planner, physical therapist and social media manager. Whether a major is declared as a freshman or a young adult graduates with a degree not knowing what to do next, looking for where the most jobs are available is a good way to start the job search.
Be Prepared for the Interview
All of the job hunting in the world can't make up for a poor interviewer. Being prepared to answer the expected - and unexpected - questions can mean the difference between "Thanks for coming in" and "Let me introduce you to my boss." Know your audience - if you are interviewing for a corporate job, dress conservatively, even if you think the environment might be a little more relaxed. if you are interviewing at a start-up or small, family owned business, approach the interview with a more friendly and warm demeanor. Do your research before the interview and you'll be prepared for anything, and hopefully you'll get that job offer!