Tips for the Class of ’17 In Their Job Search
There are many resources exist to help new grads craft a resume or prepare for an interview, but not all questions have simple answers. Here are some tips for how to approach them.
Question #1: I don’t meet all of the requirements listed in the job description – should I apply anyway?
If you meet three-quarters of the requirements, apply for the job. Some firms write job descriptions for a “perfect” candidate – one who may not exist. If you show solid skills and are eager to learn the rest, you may land an interview.
Question #2: I have a great internship. How can I approach the firm about parlaying this into a full-time role?
Talk with your manager sooner rather than later. Express your interest in staying and note how you’d contribute moving forward. Be flexible as to what the entry-level position may look like. If your manager doesn’t have the budget to hire you, ask for referrals to other departments that might.
Question #3: The career I’m interested in has nothing to do with my major. How do I start my search?
Branch out to gather the information and resources you need. Tap your professors for ideas and use the resources at your career center. Ask your classmates if their older siblings or parents can advise you. Reach out to people who graduated last year for their input and referrals. Research local firms online to see if they hire new grads. Build your LinkedIn profile and join professional groups in your field of interest.
Question #4: I can’t get a job without experience, yet I can’t get experience without a job. What should I do?
Highlight the experience you do have, especially roles that show your soft skills and customer service abilities, as employers place a high value on them. Restaurant and retail jobs, volunteer work, internships and student activities provide great experience, and show you can balance schoolwork with other priorities.
Question #5: The well-known firm I want to work for just turned me down. Should I keep trying to get in there?
Thank the hiring manager for considering you and ask if he or she will keep the door open in the future. But expand your horizons; don’t limit yourself to working for the biggest brands. Many organizations can offer a solid career path to you. The first job is just that – it doesn’t set the course for your entire professional career.
Question #6: The salary for my first job offer seems low. Do I have any leverage to negotiate?
Yes. Research market rates for similar roles, and emphasize your ask based on these findings. The 2017 Robert Half Salary Guides are one resource.