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So you’re a college student who’s about to graduate. You probably fall into one of two categories: you’ve either got yourself a job lined up, or you’re in search of work — entry-level, part-time, full-time (you’ll take anything, you just want to be employed and avoid moving back into mom and dad’s).

Photo Credit: Catherine Zhou

It’s not a lie to say that job hunting can be stressful, disheartening, and even daunting, especially for those who have been in school their whole lives (I've been there!). If you're nodding your head in agreement, read on, as I hope to declutter your thoughts and help make this next stage of your life a bit more navigable. 

1. Get organized

Do you have a sense of what you want to do? Is your major relevant to the job you want to attain? Take the time to ask yourself these questions and be honest with yourself when answering them.

Perhaps your plan to go into the field of medicine is being replaced with a new dream of entering the startup world; in that case, you should start looking at what requirements and skills you should be building in the meanwhile.

The internet offers a plethora of free educational opportunities, too. Utilize that search engine and learn how to design, code, speak another language, etc. now that you finally have the time!

2. Explore related fields

Localwise has plenty of jobs, internships, and volunteer gigs to check out. Take some time to check out the plethora of opportunities in a variety of industries. You’re sure to find something that interests you!

Take a look at some job search tips to help you while you explore!

3. Update your resume

Your resume is the first thing your potential employer looks at. They assess whether you’d be a good fit for the role from this one piece of paper. Yes, I know a resume doesn’t convey your shining personality and charm—but that’s the way the cookie crumbles.

However, there are steps you can take to make your resume—and therefore, yourself—stand out:

  1. Start with the basics: Use a premade template to start off on the right foot. Click here for 3 (actually free) resume templates.

  2. Format your resume: The right format is key to conveying your credentials from the get-go. I recommend Localwise's resume formatting tips for guidance.

  3. Make sure it’s easy to read and glance over: Stick to one of these five fonts and only one page to make sure you're making it as easy as possible for the employer to read your entire resume.

  4. Update relevant experience and accomplishments: Include work/volunteer experience that’s relevant to the position you’re applying for, but be concise with descriptions. The goal is to be brief whilst providing the most information you can in a few, curt sentences.

4. Create (and update!) your Localwise profile

Thousands of employers use Localwise to hire new talent! If you haven’t already created an account, then what are you waiting for? And don’t forget to fill out your Localwise Profile! It’ll allow you to apply to jobs in just 1 click, help you network, and enable relevant employers to reach out to you with new job opportunities.

5. Attend a career fair

Career fairs: the place to be exposed to multiple companies, recruiters, and potential bosses all at once. You’ll most likely either find it to be a) overwhelming or b) a goldmine of opportunities. If you resonate with the second statement, then check out if there are any upcoming career fairs in your city!

6. Get an internship

Paid or not, an internship is a great way to get your foot in the door of the business/company you would like to work at. Check out these helpful tips if you’re looking to land an internship!

7. Create a LinkedIn (if you haven’t already)

In the technology-based era that we live in, anything and everything can be found online, and that means you should be too. Take the time to create a LinkedIn account and build your profile.

LinkedIn is a great way to both network and get noticed by businesses looking to hire young professionals. Be sure to include your contact information, update your profile with your education and relevant work experience, and include any skills/awards/achievements and links to portfolios you have.

8. Apply!

Make it a goal to apply to at least 5 jobs per week. You can’t get hired unless you fill out those job applications. You got this!

9. Prepare for interviews

I think we can all unanimously agree that interviews are nerve-wracking, but would you believe me if I told you that that can be changed? Maybe the butterflies will never completely go away, but there are definitely tricks you can master prior to an interview that can help you feel more confident and prepared.

Check out these helpful interview tips, and while you’re at it, rack up as many interviews as you can!

10. Follow up with interviewers

A good time to check back in with an interviewer is around the one week mark. Read this blog post by Lisa Rykert, a career coach with over 20 years of HR experience, for advice on how to reach out to your interviewer!

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