It’s graduation season. However, the majority of soon-to-be college graduates don’t have a job lined up. The New York Post reported that a study conducted by GoDaddy found that only 40% of college seniors have lined up a job and another 30% don’t even believe there are any jobs out there for them. So many new grads are still looking for employment because many of them are doing it the wrong way. They are unprepared because we don’t teach networking in colleges and Universities. Networking is still the best way to land a job. According to PayScale.com, over 85% of all high-end jobs are found through networking.
I thought I would share five tips on how new graduates (or even seasoned professionals) can find a new job if they are looking for employment.
Follow a lead when you get it but focus on getting a referral. A lead is merely a contact but a referral is about a relationship. Desperation is not referable. Since you’ll be depending on your network to speak highly of you to their hiring manager and contacts, practice confidently touting your skills. Reach out to friends, family and business contacts in person, on LinkedIn and via social media to tell them exactly what kind of position you’re looking for. Ask if they can check for any upcoming openings and keep you in mind.
Every college grad should find a mentor in their profession. Know how to ask. Don’t lead with “will you be my mentor.” Instead, ask them if they are willing to give you some advice. Tell them you are not looking for anything from them but advice. DON’T PITCH to them.
Image-check your social media profiles. They are looking! Potential employers will search about you online. Your social media presence could be hurting your chances of landing a job. Take down all your posts of your wild parties and remove any posts that you think don’t represent you appropriately to an employer. You won’t want to make those who have referred you to look bad if they stick their neck out and recommend you. I was once considering hiring someone and I checked out his Facebook page. OMG! He threw out the “F” bomb time after time on his posts. In addition, he posted widely inappropriate comments and tirades about people. He was not the kind of influence I wanted in my office.
Determine where you stand with these contacts. Whether they are active, passive, or dormant will determine the strategy. Active; pick up the phone and ask for assistance. There’s a relationship. They will most likely love to help. Passive; set an appointment to reconnect (preferably in person). Find out about them and let them know you’re looking for something. Dormant; reconnect by social media or email. Just talk. Don’t ask for anything – yet. Stay in touch, build the relationship before you ask.
Visit organizations in the industry you want. Network right there, on the ground. Check in at the front desk, drop your resume off in-person and ask to meet with the HR director. Better yet, find out if someone in your network can connect you to a current employee in that company. Contact them through the referral. Meet them for coffee and come prepared.
Your network is the lifeblood of your career. Don’t let it die of professional loneliness. Learn how to network your way into a job.