For many seniors, the job search is now in full swing. During the coming months, campuses around the country will be hosting job or career fairs for their graduating students. Some may be asking:
With so little time, how would I be noticed?
How am I supposed to get noticed by a potential employer?
For those of you going to your first career fair or applying for your first post-grad job, think of this experience as dating. You might have a conversation about your likes and dislikes during your first conversation, maybe about who you are and what you are looking for. After making a connection, you may even check out their online presence with a little internet sleuthing. After a few dates, you find out enough to know if its worth a commitment.
It’s the same for finding that perfect candidate or job, so let’s call this “The Job Dating Process.” The connections go like this:
- Love at first job fair: When first meeting someone you might eventually date, you are going to remember a few facts about them. At a job fair, companies remember who you are through the conversation and also, your resume! Many employers at the job fair will take notes on your actual resume after your conversation. These companies then identify those true matches and those who don’t hit the mark. So make sure to bring your resume, printed and ready to share! Be sure to include all previous work experience, especially those that pertain to the job.
- Social media (LinkedIn) stalking: Potential employers often check your online presence so make sure your profiles are professional! One of the most important professional platforms is LinkedIn, a site dedicated to business connections and heavily used when recruiting professionals. Make sure you create a LinkedIn profile that mirrors the resume, and that your in-person presence is the same as your online one so it doesn’t sabotage your job hunt. Check out our prior post on this topic here:
- “Pick me. Choose me. Love me.” (based on my qualifications and background): In a world where hundreds of people apply for the same job position, what makes you different among this crowd? If you don’t know your own strengths and weaknesses, your potential employers will also not know about those qualities. Take some time before submitting applications to think about your strengths, then make sure you show them to your potential employer. Also, don’t be afraid to mention those qualities that you are improving on. A weakness is just a strength that requires some extra TLC.