You may have your eyes set squarely on your diploma, but where are you going after you walk across that stage? Although the job market is improving, it is still a very competitive landscape that tends to be rougher on new graduates than those who have been out of college for a number of years. A recent study suggests that workers under the age of 25 are suffering from an unemployment rate double that of the national average.
What will you do to make yourself stand out and be considered a front runner for highly sought-after jobs? We’ve put together a list of three steps to help you stay on track and land your first job.
Step 1: Launch your Search
Don’t wait until you graduate to begin your job search. Start by developing a list of what you are seeking in potential employers. Are you looking for something in a certain location or in a certain field? If you’re not sure where to start, UMUC has a Job Search Guide and other resources on our Job Search page to help you get started.
UMUC students and alumni also have lifetime, free access to CareerQuest, which allows you to post your resume and access job and internship opportunities 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Start by describing your background and career goals. CareerQuest does the rest!
Step 2: Sell your Strengths
Use your cover letter and resume to highlight your skills and to showcase yourself as a professional. This is where you have the first opportunity to sell yourself. Make it count.
When you start fine-tuning your resume and cover letter, describe your top skills and best qualities. Make sure employers know about all of your relevant work experience, and don’t be afraid to use anecdotes in your cover letter to show how your other life experiences will make you a perfect fit for the position.
Check out UMUC’s resume and cover letter tutorials for more tips.
Step 3: Make a Strong Impression
If you are asked to interview for the job, employers will not only be impressed by research; many of them have come to expect it. The more you already know about the company, the more passionate you will appear about joining their team. UMUC’s Interview Guide has lots of tips on making a strong impression during your interview.
Landing that first job is a major step in everyone’s career, and although it may take some time and patience, these three steps will help you put yourself in a great position to hit the ground running.