About the Author: Chasity Cooper is a Marketing & Public Relations graduate of Syracuse University (’11) that lives in Washington, D.C. When she isn’t on the job hunt, she enjoys dancing, writing, site seeing and hanging out with her friends in The District. Check out her blog Young Gifted and Precise and follow her on Twitter. (@cshantelcooper)
Are you a recent graduate or college senior tirelessly looking for your first-full time job? Then look no further; I’ve got just the solution for you! Now before you get your hopes up, I am not a recruiter for a Fortune 500 company looking for new talent (that would be great, wouldn’t?) but I am just like you—a recent graduate looking to land her first entry-level position. But you may be thinking to yourself: there are so many people out there more qualified than me, how will I ever get my first job?
First and foremost, you’re going to stop thinking negatively about yourself and your capabilities. As a soon-to-be or recent graduate, you have attained all of the tools necessary to land your first gig. Now it’s all about how you leverage your talents in order to get where you want to be.
I won’t kid you – for the first few weeks of my job hunt, I was feverishly looking on job boards, Craigslist, and other popular job websites for any and every entry-level public relations position that was remotely close to my interests. I was also luck to have a few good friends keeping their eyes peeled for me via Twitter and other job message boards too. Around week four, I became discouraged in my search and after a few rejection emails; I was beginning to think that there might not be a position out there for me. Since then, I have had to break through the doubt and fear of not being hired immediately in order to really see what is out there for me.
On my personal blog Young Gifted and PRecise, I recently penned a letter to the Class of 2012 that discussed any worries that they may have upon graduation. I admitted that I didn’t take the most conventional path to begin my career last year, but I have learned so much about myself and even strengthened certain skills that will hopefully get my foot in the door to my ideal PR position. Instead of going straight to graduate school or into the corporate world, I decided to take several internships at public relations agencies in DC to get a better idea of what the world of PR was really like. If you are in fact wondering about a particular field of interest and don’t necessarily want to sign a full-time contract, internships and fellowships are great ways to gain experience and potentially become a full-time employee.
So what are some other ways to increase your chances of getting your foot in the door?
Utilize social media to the fullest. Tweet. Blog. Pin. Tumble. Facebook. Linked-In. All of these channels weren’t just created to scroll through all day. Connect with other users, look for opportunities, read articles, ask questions and join conversations. Network with people and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Connect with your school’s alumni. I’m almost positive that no matter what school you attend, there is a very extensive alumni database that is just waiting to be accessed. Also, utilize family and friends—they may also have former colleagues or college friends will be more than willing to help.
Don’t be hard on yourself. The job hunt is a process, but as long as you remain proactive, focused and optimistic in what you want to accomplish in your career, you will constantly be on the right path to greatness.
Get out and explore! Sure, you are in the midst of an important search, but it is vital that you don’t helplessly sit in front of your computer all day, every day. Rich DeMatteo, of “Corn on the Job,” suggests 10 Ways to switch up your daily routine for job success that are very helpful, so get moving!
And there you have it! Just a few tools to get started and keep you motivated during the job search. Remain steadfast and persistent, and I’m confident that in due time, we will be on our way to accomplish our goal of a full-time dream positon.
What do you think? What advice would you offer recent grads and grads to be?