Applying for a job is always a nerve-racking experience, even for seasoned professionals with valuable work experiences under their belt. Job hunting for new graduates is an even trickier playing field, with most students having little to no experience crafting resumes and being in a working environment. In order to aid the vast majority of students today learning through an online education, we have put together a short job hunting guide that students can use even as they are finishing up their online undergraduate degrees. Find the best job for you by following these job seeking tips and techniques.
1. Set a Career Trajectory for Yourself
One of the best job hunting tips that we can share is discerning a career that you want to aim for. By having a destination in mind, you gain the opportunity to give your career a direction early on. In setting a career trajectory for yourself, you can identify the field that you see yourself thriving in as well as the specific jobs that you are interested in pursuing. Though this is not a guarantee that you will land those jobs fresh out of college, you can certainly work your way up to them by applying to the jobs that will get you where you need to go.
2. Set a Timeline for Your Plans
And no, we don’t mean deadlines. A timeline for your plans simply means that you have a set of goals and actions that are realistic, measurable, and time-bound. These small goals are meant to help you get closer to a bigger goal—which in this case is landing a good job. By setting boundaries for the time it takes to fulfill these goals, you can be certain that you are operating with a sense of urgency and efficiency. Let us illustrate this by providing an example of a timeline for a job hunting new graduate named Jose.
Jose knows that he will be graduating from his online degree soon. Leading up to his graduation, Jose allots two weeks to create a first draft of his resume. He allots the third week to consulting a trusted mentor regarding his resume draft. On the fourth week, he creates a plan on his timeline to apply the revisions from his mentor. And finally on the fifth week, he is set to send out these resumes to his desired companies via email.
By setting these smaller goals inside a timeline, Jose is able to progress towards job hunting early and efficiently. This job hunting tip for students is especially useful, as you don’t have to be a graduate to start.
3. Shortlist the Companies You Are Eyeing
One of our favorite job seeking tips and techniques is shortlisting the companies that you are aiming for. While there is no guarantee that you will land a job in these companies specifically, the companies you identified will give you an idea of what you value in a workplace. Do you like the security of a regular job with benefits? Or perhaps you like the idea of working as a freelancer for media companies that allow you have more control of your time? By narrowing down the traits you value in an employer, you can also narrow down the criteria that you search for while hunting for jobs.
4. Never Stop Learning
Now this is a job hunting tip for new graduates that they may be reluctant to. You might be thinking, “I’m just about to break free of school, why would I go back?” Great question! The truth of the matter is that additional learning will always benefit your value as a potential employee. From the value added skills you are learning from short courses or even additional degrees to the positive impression this gives an employer because of your willingness to learn—by constantly embracing knowledge you increase your marketability in the job seeking landscape. Elevate your career with continuous education and you may just find bigger and better opportunities opening up for you!
Pro-Tip: Acquire additional learning through an online master’s program in the Philippines. Not only does this demonstrate a deeper understanding of your field through a Philippine lens— it also sets you apart from your batchmates who may have opted to go straight into working. An online program gives you the ability to balance both a full-time job and further education.
5. Expand Your Skills
Jumping off number four, this job hunting tip works for students as well. Actively seek out online classes and workshops that can equip you with necessary skills for your field. These extra skills can give you an advantage over other job seeking candidates of a similar age group and educational attainment. Though they require less time and investment than a full-fledged degree, they still stand to benefit you by adding value to your resume and as a more experienced hire.
6. Prepare for Your Interviews
There is a wealth of resources available online for practicing job interviews. Whether in written or video format, you are bound to find an interview preparation resource that works for you. Put in a favor with someone you trust and ask them to help you practice common job seeking interviews. Not only does this process help you build confidence for the real thing, but it also gives you the rare opportunity to hear constructive feedback about your answers from someone who cares about you and knows you well.
7. Do Your Research
Jumping off of Tip#6, doing your research on your field and the company you will be interviewing for is a job hunting tip that can easily set you up to impress your HR officer. Brush up on the field you are applying for and get to know industry standard jargon, principles, and beliefs. Doing your due diligence by researching on the company’s story, goals, and values will also show initiative on your part as an interested applicant.
8. Reflect on Your Experience
Student activities are rife with stories of how you applied your grit, determination, and skills. Don’t be afraid to recount these stories during your practice interviews and even for the real thing. These stories are a great way of illustrating real life examples of how you apply your values and skills so you can talk in specifics rather than hypotheticals. This shows confidence as well in past activities that you have initiated. Just be yourself and tell these stories to your interviewer should you deem them relevant.
9. Customize Your Resume Per Application
Among the job seeking tips and techniques on this list, this is one that we swear by. It is always a good idea to be open to different job opportunities, even if they are in different industries. Tailor your resume to opportunities in different fields by adding or removing the experiences listed based on their relevance to your job candidacy. Eyeing a job in education? Discuss your tutoring stints and experiences in more detail than your awards for creative competitions. Eyeing a managerial position? Go easy on your participation in sports and focus instead on student council or extracurricular leadership roles that you may have taken on. This extra step can do wonders for your application.
10. Research on Your Desired Salary
Don’t be afraid to know your worth. Assess your skill level and the salary averages available for your desired position and answer honestly when asked about this during your interview. This shows that you value yourself and are not afraid to be honest about your goals. While this is no guarantee that you will get the amount you requested, it can certainly impress your interviewer if done right.
11. Create an Online Presence
Crafting an online persona is more than just about social media. Utilize tools like LinkedIn and online portfolios to increase your credibility and visibility for company headhunters. This is a great job hunting tip that may even lead companies to contacting you directly for opportunities you may not have known about. Upload valuable documentation of past works and credentials so you can craft an impressive and professional online presence that adds even more value to you as a possible employee.
12. Don’t be Shy to Follow Up
We mentioned in tip#10 that it is important to know your worth. Part of knowing your worth is knowing the value of your time. Do not hesitate to follow up on a job application if you feel that it is taking longer than usual for the hiring manager to respond. This shows initiative and interest on your part and can even make you seem like a better fit for the position. Remember that establishing good rapport with your hiring manager is important, so this tip works best if you thanked them for time via email or in person during your interview.
We hope that these twelve job seeking tips can be of help to your journey. While this job hunting guide may not be a guarantee that you will find the right job for you overnight, it can certainly make the wait and the process easier to bear.