October 12, 2018 - Cheyene Shuart
You just graduated. What now? Will spamming Indeed with your resume be enough to get you a job in your field? Here are some tips on what to do after graduation.
My best friend is graduating from her B.A. in Psychology and finally just got an interview to become a PSW, but she has been searching for employment since July. Understandably, that’s extremely frustrating. If you’re like my bestie and you’ve been spending hours upon hours online looking for jobs to get you out there, don’t lose hope. Here are some post-grad tips that could help you get your foot in the door as you are job searching and developing your career.
Ew - volunteering, am I right? No, actually, I’m not! Whether you’re a Masters of Engineering graduate or a B.A. in Social Work, volunteering in the community can do a lot more for you than you might imagine. Some volunteer positions around the community can really help you develop skills you might not have had access to before. For example, maybe volunteering with the Canadian Cancer Society will help you increase your communication skills while you are promoting the organization and encouraging community members to donate to the cause. Another example could be volunteering with the Windsor Youth Centre, where you could potentially develop your leadership skills. On top of that, you could make contacts and get references that will fill up your resume for your degree-related career later on. Finally, you never know when a paid opportunity might come from interacting with people in a volunteer organization.
Another big ew – networking is scary, especially when you’re not sure how to do it right. Talking to everyone you are connected with about your interests and your job searching might open a door you never knew was there. We like to remind you as Peer Career Advisors that only 15-20% of jobs are posted online, so networking is the golden key to the hidden job market. Not sure how to do this? Come visit us at the Career Development and Experiential Learning office in JEC 100 during drop-in hours (10-4) or book an appointment or a spot in our job search workshops to get a better understanding of the optimal way to access the other 80% of jobs that are out there!
Beef up your resume!
Well, duh. But actually, did you know you should be tailoring each of your resumes to the specific job you’re applying for? Check out our blog post on “Quick Tips for a More Effective Resume” for some invaluable information on how re-evaluating your resume can really give you a leg up when it comes to job applications.
Use your social media!
What I mean is LinkedIn. Once you control for their pesky e-mail updates, LinkedIn can alert you to new job opportunities, allow you to follow your contacts and make new ones, and show yourself off to potential employers who may be looking for people with your expertise. One of our Peer Advisors uses his LinkedIn the way some people use Facebook (great job, Kyle!), and displays all of his skills and experiences to boost his professional appearance and stay up to date on potential employers and opportunities. Whether you’re an English Major or a Stats Major, using your social media can really help you get ahead in the online professional world. We have workshops that can help you work on that too!
Apply to everything!
Well, maybe not everything, but you never know where your skills could be needed in different jobs. It’s important not to limit your job search focus – if you’re a Mechanical Engineer graduate applying to jobs only with the “Mechanical Engineer” tagline, you’re going to be limiting your opportunities by a lot. Another bestie of mine turned his coffee barista experience and his love for theatre into a job on a cruise ship. Would you ever expect Starbucks skills to get you onto a cruise ship? Never limit yourself - you never know when a company may be looking for someone with your skillset. As long as you spin your application to present your skills in a way that would benefit the employer, the worst-case scenario is you don’t hear back, but it’s better than no chance at all!
Maybe you’re already in process of employing all of these tips, which means you are well on your way to finding that post-grad job you’ve been hoping for! For more support and advising, come see us at the Career Development offices or book an appointment with our Career Advisors or in our workshops to help you further develop your job searching skills – having more job search knowledge can never hurt you! Good luck graduates!