How To Get The Job You Want

Your college graduation should be a time of joyous celebration and anticipation of great things to come. Increasingly, however, in today’s fierce economy and job market, college graduates face daunting employment challenges which can easily leave even the most optimistic and bright-eyed grad to a downhill tumble of stress and anxiety. But don’t fret. There are steps you can take to help you successfully land your dream job. The most important step, before all others, is to set up a strategy for yourself, a plan to maximize your chances of getting noticed and hired. The power really is in your hands.

Below is a summary of some of the more important ways you should to take into consideration when hitting the job market.

Seek An Internship

These days it can be quite difficult to hop out of the classroom and into that great job you’ve been dreaming about. Thus, one smart strategy is to seek out an internship in the field where you’re hoping to land a job. Internships are great ways to network and gain valuable on the job experience. Also, while some internships are paying gigs, most pay very little, and many do not pay at all. However, even if you land an internship that pays little or nothing, you can still capitalize on the opportunity. For example, after your internship is over, and even while it’s still going on, be sure to keep in contact with those you’ve met at the internship, even if you don’t plan on working at the company in the future. You never know whose network is connected to whose. Also, don’t be shy to ask your former internship colleagues to lunch sometime, keeping them up to date on where you’re at as well as keeping up to speed on where they are at.

smiling woman standing in office

Phone and email check-ins are another good option to keep in touch with past internship connections. The point here is to try to keep yourself on their radar, because opportunities come and go fast, and you want to be the first person they think of for an opportunity.

Make New Contacts

Making new contacts, also known as networking, isn’t just adding people to your Facebook list. There’s a strategic art to it. One method, especially before you graduate from college, is to meet with as many professionals in the field you’re studying in, as well as outside your field too. Basically try to meet as many professionals who are willing to meet. Once you’ve met, let them know the vision you have for where you want to go in your career, along with anybody they may be able to suggest that you meet with next. Get that list of folks and then reach out to them. If you find that you are beginning to benefit from this web of connections, be sure to thank all those who helped you make those connections. And remember, it is usually the connections that create the sudden opportunities to expand your career. Furthermore, this practice should not end once you’ve landed that big job. Keep going! This is especially true if you are hoping to move up in the field you’re working in.

Be Ambitious

One of the best parts of having a great career strategy, and one which can boost every other part of your strategy, is to be ambitious. Having and displaying ambition is one of the most important qualities you can use. Ambition separates you from all other young graduates, and a big piece of having ambition is knowing where you want to go and doing whatever it takes to get there. Also, where you want to go can even be an immediate short-term goal, something you know you need to reach in order to build upon so you can reach an even loftier goal. Of course, knowing what you want is a hard thing to put your finger on. It takes lots of real life experience, on the job and outside the job, and that experience is something lacking in most new graduates. In the meantime, having a clear vision of the direction you hope to go is good enough, as opposed to the often times desperate move of simply wanting a job just to show that you’re hungry to work.